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Aug 01, 2013 - 06:24 PM
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2013 Mid-Ohio: Ganassi IndyCar Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Aug 01, 2013 - 06:21 PM
IndyCar Weekend Team Reports
2013 Mid-Ohio: Ganassi IndyCar Race Preview


BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW THAT

Big Weekend in Toronto: With Dixon’s sweep of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader, he earned a $100,000 bonus for winning both races on the weekend. The first doubleheader in Detroit earlier this year did not produce a repeat winner, so the $50,000 prize rolled over for Toronto. Dixon also moved up from fourth to second in the IZOD IndyCar Series Championship standings with the back-to-back race wins. Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Dixon and Franchitti also won both pole positions in Toronto (Franchitti – Race 1 and Dixon – Race 2), with Dixon taking sole possession of seventh on the all-time Indy car wins list with 32 victories after Race 2.

 

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Dixon Finds His Groove: Dixon’s doubleheader win in Toronto made it three consecutive this season going into Round 14 at Mid-Ohio, where he has won four of the last six races dating back to 2007. If Dixon wins Mid-Ohio it would mark four-consecutive wins this season and he could become the first driver to win four-straight races since Sebastien Bourdais won the first four Champ Car races in 2006. In addition, Dixon’s win at Mid-Ohio would be his third consecutive win at the track.

Eight Days: Dixon’s three consecutive wins at Pocono and Toronto’s doubleheader tied Mario Andretti’s streak of three race wins in eight days (July 30 to Aug 6, 1968, which included Langhorne, Pa., and a double header at St. Jovite, Quebec). Al Unser won four consecutive races in eight days in July 1969 (a doubleheader at Indianapolis Raceway Park and a doubleheader at Langhorne), and stretched his total to five in a row with a win later that month 13 at Nazareth, Pa.

New Winningest Active Driver: After Dixon’s doubleheader wins in Toronto, he moved to sole possession of seventh on the all-time wins list with 32 passing Paul Tracy, Sebastien Bourdais and teammate Franchitti, who each have 31. In doing so, he also became the top active driver on the all-time wins list.

TCGR Tidbits: In Toronto, Dixon had an average running position of 2.059 during the 180 laps of racing, and in the last three races he gained 63 points - now only -29 behind leader Helio Castroneves in the IZOD IndyCar Series standings. Dixon has 151 consecutive Indy car starts dating to the 2004 race in Michigan ranking seventh on the all-time list. Franchitti has two consecutive front-row starts going into Mid-Ohio’s race. Team Owner Chip Ganassi has 92 wins and ranks third all-time among Indy car team owners.

Power of Two Results: Dixon won the Power of Two charity competition and raised $7,036 for two groups that focus on cancer-stricken youth (CanTeen and Teens Living with Cancer). His rival Alex Tagliani raised almost $6,000 for Anaphyaxis Canada, an organization that helps individuals with life-threatening allergies. On Monday following the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, Tagliani will wear a beaver costume, representative of his native Canada, while stopping along the way to have some Indiana State Fair fun. He will begin his journey at 11 a.m. on Main Street and proceed around the fairgrounds to perform some media stunts. Once he successfully completes the circuit, Tagliani and Dixon will duel in go-karts at the Mini-Indy Speedway, a quarter-mile banked oval track in the fairgrounds’ northeast corner.

TCGR at Mid-Ohio: TCGR drivers have made 35 starts at Mid-Ohio in 19 races, accumulating eight wins (1996: Alex Zanardi; 1997: Zanardi; 1999: Juan Montoya; 2007: Dixon; 2009: Dixon; 2010: Franchitti; 2011: Dixon; 2012: Dixon), two pole wins (1996: Zanardi; 2011: Dixon), 12 podiums, 21 top-five and 25 top-10 finishes.

Taking to the Road: Since 1990, TCGR has made 155 starts on road courses, earning 21 wins, 12 poles, 49 podiums, 69 top-five and 100 top-10 finishes.

#TEAMGANASSI

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.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR MID-OHIO

Scott Dixon and No. 9 Target Team

Toronto Race 1 Rewind: Dixon started Race 1 on the inside of the third row after qualifying the No. 9 Target Honda fifth on the 1.75-mile street circuit. In the first standing start attempt since 2008, INDYCAR officials aborted the start for a car stalled on the grid. A rolling start took place shortly after, and by lap 5 of 85 Dixon fell back to sixth. The No. 9 car fought to get back to fifth on lap 7 and four laps later was able to pass another car for fourth. The No. 9 car held its ground through a full course caution and restart, taking 0.5-seconds out of the leader’s 1.0-second gap. Dixon moved up to second with 27 laps to go and stayed out a lap longer than the lap leader to make up the gap for the lead. The strategy paid off and on lap 63 the No. 9 car beat the leader out of the pits and held off a challenge for the lead. With 16 laps to go on a restart Dixon then dropped to third, but made up ground to second in just four laps. With nine laps to go Dixon was side by side with the leader and attempted to pass, but could not get around. One lap later Dixon was able to pass for the lead. The No. 9 car held the lead and with four laps to go a caution was called. On the final lap restart Dixon gapped the field and led all the way to the checkered flag.

Toronto Race 2 Rewind: Dixon started the race on the inside of the front row after qualifying the No. 9 Target Honda on pole position. The second standing start of the weekend was a success, and Dixon held his position and built a 1.49-second gap from the start. The No. 9 car had increased its lead to more than four seconds by lap 15 and had led every lap. Dixon then pit from the lead and had a quick stop to rejoin the race in the lead. The No. 9 car built an 8.1-second lead 31 laps into the race and clinched the two bonus points for leading the most laps in the race on lap 47. Dixon then improved to a 13-second gap over second place. Under a full course caution with 13 laps to go, the No. 9 car fought to keep its lead on the restart. With two laps to go another full course caution was displayed and Dixon drove to the checkered flag after leading 81 of 85 laps.

Last Time in Mid-Ohio: Dixon qualified fourth and ran the opening stint of the 85-lap race in that position until making his first green-flag pit stop of the day on lap 27. After pit stops cycled through, Dixon found himself in second, where he continued to tick off laps as fast as the leader. On lap 57, the No. 9 Target Honda made its final scheduled pit stop of the day. A quick stop propelled Dixon past leader Will Power. Dixon took the lead upon the completion of green flag stops on lap 59 and didn’t look back. He led the rest of the race en route to his second victory of the season and 29th overall, tying him for 10th on the all-time wins list with Rick Mears.

Career at Mid-Ohio: In seven starts at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Dixon has earned four wins (2007, 2009, 2011, 2012), one pole win (2011) and five podiums. The driver of the No. 9 car has led in four out of his seven starts (for 156 laps) and completed every lap at Mid-Ohio in his career.

In the Points: Following Toronto’s doubleheader, Dixon moved up two spots to second in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings with 396 markers, -29 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 seventh place on the all-time Indy car wins list (1909-Present) with 32 victories and is tied with Danny Sullivan for 15th on the all-time poles list with 19.

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 GE Team

Toronto Race 1 Rewind: Franchitti started the race on the inside of the front row after qualifying the No. 10 Target Honda on pole position. When the race went green Franchitti held the lead for the first 20 laps. On lap 20 the No. 10 car reported the tires were falling off and fell back to fourth. Franchitti pit from fourth to change tires and returned to the circuit in the same position. The No. 10 car held on to fourth, but on lap 63 dropped back to fifth. Franchitti made his way back to fourth and in the final stages had more push to pass left than any other driver in the top-10 (6). With 12 laps to go, the No. 10 car jumped up to third on a restart, and finished there for a Target double-podium result.

Toronto Race 2 Rewind: Franchitti started the race on the outside of the front row after qualifying the No. 10 Target Honda second. On the standing start, Franchitti fell back to sixth after making slight contact with the rear of the No. 3 car. The No. 10 car had to pit for a new front wing and changed from red tires to black tires. Franchitti returned to the circuit and tried to make up ground for the early pit on lap 5 of 85. On lap 41 Franchitti was in 12th and trying to get back to the top-10. The No. 10 car was able to move up three positions to ninth by lap 57. Franchitti then made it in and out of pit lane just in time as a full course caution was called, and was up to sixth by lap 72. Under the last caution of the race with two laps to go, Franchitti made his way to fourth, where he would ultimately finish.

Last Time in Mid-Ohio: For the sixth consecutive race, Franchitti started on the front row, qualifying second. The No. 10 Honda got off to a good start, running the opening laps of the race in second. After making his first pit stop of the day on lap 29, Franchitti returned to the 2.258-mile course in fourth. Running on a two-stop fuel strategy, Franchitti made his second pit stop on lap 57 and again rejoined the field in fourth. On lap 59, the No. 10 Honda made contact with another car and was forced to pit road for an unscheduled pit stop to replace the front wing. Franchitti exited the pits for the final time in 18th and eventually finished the day in 17th.

Career at Mid-Ohio: In 11 starts at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Franchitti has one win (2010), two pole wins (1998, 1999) and five podiums. The driver of the No. 10 car has also led 93 laps at Mid-Ohio.

In the Points: With the results in Toronto, Franchitti moved four spots to seventh in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings with 307 markers, -118 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.

ONE TEAM, SIX CARS, THREE SERIES
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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