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Jul 11, 2013 - 06:44 AM
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2013 Toronto: Target Ganassi IndyCar Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Jul 11, 2013 - 06:40 AM
IndyCar Weekend Team Reports
2013 Toronto: Target Ganassi IndyCar Race Preview


Races: Honda Indy Toronto, July 13 & 14
Drivers: @scottdixon9 @dariofranchitti
Cars: No. 9 Target Honda and No. 10 Target Honda
Track: Streets of Toronto (1.75-mile circuit)
TV: 3:00 PM ET on NBC Sports Network
Social: @TCGRTeams #TeamTarget
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada


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Dario talks Turbo: Franchitti was a guest on the TODAY Show Monday and spoke about being a consultant on the new animated film “Turbo,” which features some very speedy snails, saying he was there to help make the movie “as realistic as possible.” The segment promoted the U.S. premiere of DreamWorks Animation’s “Turbo” that same day in Manhattan. The feature film distributed by 20th Century Fox that features the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race and the IZOD IndyCar Series will be in theaters July 17.

Power of Two: Scott Dixon and Alex Tagliani have taken their rivalry beyond the track to online to see who can raise the most money for causes that they truly care about. It’s the Power of 2 – Indy Edition. Dixon is supporting two groups that focus on young people living with cancer, CanTeens (NZ) and Teens Living with Cancer (US) while Tagliani is supporting Anaphylaxis Canada. The Power of 2 (www.power-of-2.org), a fundraising initiative dedicated to unlocking celebrity power for social good, recruited the two drivers to duke it out online, but there’s a catch; the loser has to perform an embarrassing public stunt. All of the charities will end up winners, but the celebrity loser will have to get into costume and ride around the grounds of Indiana State Fair on a tricycle! Should Dixon lose he’ll be making that journey in a Sheep Costume, animal that roams the hills of New Zealand, while Alex would don a Beaver Costume, representative of Canada. Fans can donate to Scott and Alex at www.power-of-2,org as many times as they like until 8pm (ET), Thursday, July 18 to decide the Power of 2 champion. Fans will have a chance to win a signed Dixon or Tagliani racing helmet and phone/Skype call with them! Every time you give or share the campaign of your favorite driver, you will earn an entry into a draw for the helmet and a personal call.

Reached 100: The Target Racing Program, which began with Target and Chip Ganassi Racing in 1990, reached the 100-win plateau with Dixon’s Pocono 400 win. The first win for the program came in 1994 with Michael’s Andretti’s Indy car victory at Surfers Paradise, Australia, when the team was merely a two-car open wheel program. Ninety-eight wins later, the program’s umbrella not only includes involvement in the IZOD IndyCar Series, but in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) and the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series. The partnership between Target and Chip Ganassi Racing is one of the longest consecutive team partnerships in motor racing history.

1-2-3 Podium Sweep: Last weekend at Pocono Raceway, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams swept the podium in the Pocono INDYCAR 400. All three Ganassi cars started at the rear of the pack, but the trio picked their way through the field; Dixon from 17th for the win, Charlie Kimball from 12th to second and Dario Franchitti from 20th to third. It marked the first 1-2-3 sweep for Chip Ganassi Racing Teams in history in any form of motorsports. The only other 1-2-3 team sweep in a Triple Crown race was in 1979 in Ontario by Bobby Unser, Rick Mears and Mario Andretti of Team Penske.

Biggest Movers: Franchitti and Dixon were the biggest movers of the race last weekend in Pocono. Franchitti started 20th and moved up 17 positions to finish third. Dixon started 17th and moved up 16 positions to win the Pocono INDYCAR 400.

Pennsylvania Luck: Dixon has had great luck in Pennsylvania, where his first career victory came at Nazareth in 2001. Now, he has a win in Pocono, which he said is similar to Nazareth “but on major steroids.” After a 23-year absence, he hopes the track is here to stay on the IndyCar schedule for years to come.

Eligible for 250,000: After Dixon’s Pocono win, he joined 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan and became eligible to win a $250,000 bonus for winning two of the three races in the Fuzz’s Triple Crown, if either can triumph in the season-ending MAVTV 500 on Oct. 19 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.

Lucky Race 11?: In Round 11 of the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series in Canada (in Edmonton), teammates Dixon and Franchitti took a 1-3 podium finish and Franchitti went on to win the championship that year. This past weekend in Round 11 of the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series at Pocono, drivers Dixon and Franchitti again took a 1-3 podium finish.

Honda’s 200th win: Honda Performance Development claimed its 200th win in North American open-wheel racing dating back to 1995, with Dixon’s triumph at the Pocono IndyCar 400. “It’s just such an incredible day for Honda and everyone at Honda Performance Development,” said HPD technical director Roger Griffiths in a statement. “I’m so please for every one of our associates who have been involved in our 200 race wins, for Target on scoring their 100th and Dixon’s 30th win – just a great day all-around.”

All-Time Indy Car Notes: Chip Ganassi’s 90 wins as an Indy car team owner now rank him third all-time among team owners…149 consecutive Indy car starts for Dixon dating back to the 2004 race in Michigan now rank him seventh on the all-time list.

Double Dual Winner Earns $50,000: SONAX, a leading manufacturer of premium car care products worldwide, will sponsor the SONAX Perfect Finish Award – a contingency prize tied to the series’ doubleheader events that started with the Raceway at Belle Isle Park. SONAX will award $50,000 to a driver who wins both feature races during any of the doubleheader weekends. If a driver does not win both races in any weekend, the $50,000 prize will carry over to the next doubleheader weekend to increase the award that could be worth $150,000 at Houston.

Second IZOD IndyCar Series Doubleheader: The Honda Indy Toronto will mark the second of three doubleheaders on the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series schedule. The series will race a pair of 85-lap races Saturday and Sunday on the 1.75-mile street circuit, posing a unique challenge for IZOD IndyCar Series drivers and teams. There were two winners in Detroit therefore the $50,000 SONAX Perfect Finish Award has been carried over for a total of $100,000 at stake for the driver who wins both races this weekend at Toronto.

TCGR at Toronto: TCGR drivers have made 32 starts at Toronto in 17 races, accumulating four wins (1994: Michael Andretti; 1998: Alex Zanardi; 2009: Franchitti; 2011: Franchitti), two pole wins (2009: Franchitti; 2012: Franchitti), 11 podiums, 13 top-five and 19 top-10 finishes.

Taking to the Streets: Since 1990, TCGR has made 224 starts on street circuits, earning 23 wins, 20 poles, 55 podiums, 87 top-five and 130 top-10 finishes.


#TargetWins100: Congratulations to Team Target on earning their 100th win! Share your favorite Target Racing moment with @TCGRTeams using #TargetWins100.

Follow Team Target on Twitter: Continue to follow Target Chip Ganassi Racing on their official team Twitter page. Find in-race updates and weekly news on the No.9 and No.10 teams throughout the 2013 season by following ���œ@TCGRTeams”.

CGRT Mobile App: Download the Chip Ganassi Racing Teams mobile app for the latest driver news, event information, social media updates and exclusive content. Head to the iTunes store and check it out: http://bit.ly/YGJQxf.


@dariofranchitti: “As always thanks to @Energizer for the support, happy we could get the car on the podium for you. @Target”

@scottdixon9: “Huge day for @TCGRTeams with a podium sweep! Really proud of everyone. Congrats to @Target for their 100th and @HondaRacing_HPD 200th win!”


Scott Dixon and No. 9 Target Team

Pocono Race Rewind: Dixon started the race in the middle of the sixth row after qualifying the No. 9 Target Honda seventh, but due to a 10-grid penalty for an engine change, started 17th. By lap 19, Dixon in 11th had become the biggest mover of the race. The No. 9 car made its way up to 10th before its first pit of the day on lap 34. Under a full course caution, Dixon pit on lap 65 and moved up to sixth on the restart. The No. 9 car passed one more car to hold fifth until it took the lead following the pit stop cycle. Dixon was able to stay out in the lead before he pit on lap 100 and had a quick stop that helped him return to the race and keep the point. Tony Kanaan passed the No. 9 car for the lead on lap 110 but made contact with the back of Dixon’s left rear. Although no damage was done to the No. 9 car, the team dropped back to third to conserve fuel. Dixon held on to third with 29 laps to go, and pit for a final time and took the lead with 27 laps to go. The No. 9 team was able to maintain that lead until the checkered flag to finish first and score the 100th win for the Target Racing Program.

Last Time in Toronto: Dixon lined up fifth on the starting grid and at the drop of the green moved into fourth, where he would run the opening seven laps. On Lap 8, a mechanical failure in the No. 9 Target Honda forced Dixon to retire from the race, finishing 25th.

Career at Toronto: In six starts on the Streets of Toronto, Dixon has earned one podium (2011), four top-five and top-10 finishes. The driver of the No. 9 car has completed 455 of 547 laps run at Toronto in his career (83.1%)

In the Points: Following Pocono, Dixon moved up three spots to fourth in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings with 291 markers, -65 points behind leader Helio Castroneves.

The Ice Man Returns: The two-time IZOD IndyCar Series Champion (2003, 2008) and 2008 Indianapolis 500 Winner returns in 2013 for his fifth season alongside four-time Champion (2007, 2009, 2010, 2011) and three-time Indianapolis 500 Winner (2007, 2010, 2012) Franchitti. Dixon is in sole possession of 10th place on the all-time Indy car wins list (1909-Present) with 30 victories and is tied with Bobby Rahal and Rex Mays for 16th on the all-time poles list with 18.

Go with What you Know: 2013 marks Dixon’s 12th year with Team Target – the longest tenure for any driver in team history (1990-Present).

Dario Franchitti and No. 10 Target Team

Pocono Race Rewind: Franchitti started the race in the middle of the seventh row after qualifying the No. 10 Honda 18th, but due to an unapproved engine change he started 20th. The No. 10 team moved up two spots to 18th after a lap-six restart, and then passed four cars to 14th. The No. 10 car struggled with understeer in the middle of the race through turn three and the middle of turn one, especially in traffic. The No. 10 car then entered pit lane for its first stop of the day for a front wing and tire pressure adjustment and returned to the race in 12th. By lap 60, Franchitti held his ground in 12th. Under a full course caution the No. 10 car pit on lap 65 and moved up to eighth on the restart. The No. 10 ran in seventh and held its ground while the leaders began to slow to conserve fuel. After Franchitti’s final stop, with the leaders conserving fuel, he took advantage and with 25 laps to go moved up to third. The No. 10 car maintained third position to score the double-podium finish.

Last Time in Toronto: For the third consecutive race in the 2012 season, Franchitti started from the pole – which marked the longest such streak of his Indy car racing career. With a strong initial start, the No. 10 Honda held the lead for the first five laps of the 85-lap race. He ran in second until making his first pit stop of the day under caution on Lap 20. There was a delay in fueling the car, which dropped them back to 20th in the running order. Franchitti gradually worked his way back up through the field until being involved in a late-race incident.
Career at Toronto: In 10 starts on the Streets of Toronto Franchitti has earned three wins (1999, 2009, 2011), four pole wins (1997, 1998, 2009, 2012), four podium, top-five and top-10 finishes. He has led laps in six of his 10 starts at the track, leading a total of 273 laps. The driver of the No. 10 car has completed 685 of 944 laps run at the track in his career (72.5%).

In the Points: With the results in Pocono, Franchitti moved one spot to 11th in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings with 237 markers, -119 points behind leader Helio Castroneves.

Rarified Air: Dario is one of only five drivers to win the Indianapolis 500 and the series title in the same season more than once. By winning the 2012 Indianapolis 500, he became just the 10th driver in history to win the race three times.

Chip Ganassi has been a fixture in the auto racing industry for over 25 years and is considered one of the most successful as well as innovative owners the sport has anywhere in the world. Today his teams include three cars in the IZOD IndyCar Series, two cars in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and one Daytona Prototype in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series. Overall his teams have 15 championships and over 150 victories, including four Indianapolis 500s, a Daytona 500, a Brickyard 400 and five Rolex 24 At Daytonas. Ganassi boasts state-of-the-art race shop facilities in Indianapolis and Brownsburg, Ind. and Concord, N.C., with a corporate office in Pittsburgh, Penn.

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