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Aug 21, 2013 - 04:59 PM
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2013 Sonoma: Ganassi IndyCar Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Aug 21, 2013 - 04:58 PM
IndyCar Weekend Team Reports
2013 Sonoma: Ganassi IndyCar Race Preview


Race: GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, August 25
Drivers: @scottdixon9 @dariofranchitti
Cars: No. 9 and No. 10 Target Hondas
Track: Sonoma Raceway (2.385-mile road course)
TV: 4:00 PM ET on NBC Sports Network
Social: @TCGRTeams #TeamTarget
Location: Sonoma, Calif.


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Remembering Floyd Ganassi: The racing industry lost a beloved figure this week in the passing of Chip Ganassi’s father, Floyd Ganassi Sr. Floyd, 87 years of age, was a great supporter of his son’s racing teams for decades, often accompanying Chip to INDYCAR, NASCAR and GRAND-AM races. Floyd was a self-made man who started his career driving his own cement truck and went on to become one of Pittsburgh’s most successful businessmen. He created the FRG Group, a vast holding company engaged in everything from manufacturing to telecommunications. When his son Chip decided to go racing, Floyd supported him the whole way. Amid all this success Chip enjoyed unwavering support from his father Floyd who was renowned as a tough businessman with a kind heart. Floyd loved to take photos at the races and the following week an envelope would arrive in many mailboxes marked ‘Photos from Floyd’. He did this every week, sending his photos to hundreds of his friends. This weekend, all Chip Ganassi Racing Teams entries will run a special decal to honor Floyd.

Top-10 Takeover: Mid-Ohio marked the first time all three team Ganassi drivers ended a round in the top-10 in points this season. Dixon in second (-31), Franchitti in sixth (-111) and Kimball tied in seventh (-128). Helio Castroneves leads with 453.

Like Father, Like Son: How did a kid from a small village in Scotland get into car racing? Dario Franchitti got into car racing because his dad was and is a fan of racing and his hobby was to go racing on the weekends. He would go to the track with father George ever since he was really small. So that’s where his passion for racing started: doing things with his dad.

Four Wins in a Row: Round 14 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course marked Chip Ganassi Racing Teams’ (CGRT) fourth-consecutive win in the IZOD IndyCar Series this year (Pocono-Scott Dixon, Toronto Race 1 and 2-Dixon, Mid-Ohio-Charlie Kimball). The CGRT record for consecutive wins came in the 1998 Indy car season as the team strung together six victories with Alex Zanardi and Jimmy Vasser (St. Louis-Zanardi, Milwaukee-Vasser, Detroit-Zanardi, Portland-Zanardi, Cleveland-Zanardi and Toronto-Zanardi). The streak is impressive, too, in that it's been accomplished on a 2.5-mile superspeedway (Pocono), temporary street course (Toronto) and a 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course (Mid-Ohio) by Dixon and Kimball.

Chipping Away at the Indy Car Wins List: Team Owner Chip Ganassi, who is third overall on the all-time Indy car wins list, scored his 93rd win as a team owner at Mid-Ohio in Round 14. Only Roger Penske (Penske Racing-166, active) and Carl Haas/Paul Newman (Newman/Haas Racing-107, inactive) have more victories.

TCGR at Sonoma: TCGR drivers have made 17 starts at Sonoma in 8 races, scoring 2 wins (2007: Dixon, 2009: Franchitti) and three poles (2005: Briscoe, 2006: Dixon, 2009: Franchitti).


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.


Scott Dixon and No. 9 Target Team

Winningest Active Driver: After Dixon’s doubleheader wins in Toronto in July, he moved into 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.

Dixon Digging In: Dixon has 152 consecutive Indy car starts dating back to the 2004 race in Michigan. He ranks seventh on the all-time list. Tony Kanaan is the active leading driver with 210 starts, one shy of former Target driver Jimmy Vasser’s all-time record.

Mid-Ohio Race Rewind: Dixon qualified the No. 9 Target Honda third as he looked to extend his record tally of four victories at Mid-Ohio. The team maintained third position all the way through the first stint before pitting from that position on lap 30 of the 90-lap event. By lap 43 Dixon was running in fifth position and on lap 49 the team made their second stop of the day. With 26 laps to go Dixon was running seventh and three laps later pit for the third and final time. The race ended up running caution-free – marking the first time a race had gone without a yellow flag since Mid-Ohio 2012 – and the No. 9 team would come home with a seventh-place finish.

Last Time in Sonoma: Dixon started in fifth and was spun by Castroneves at turn seven on the opening lap. The No. 9 car dropped back to 15th spot and Castroneves was handed a drive-through penalty for the incident. Dixon pitted on lap 14 and changed to red tires in an attempt to catch up. On lap 22 he had made his way up to seventh place. On lap 44, in an attempt to pass Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dixon went off course and damaged the front wing of the No. 9 Target car. After pitting to replace the front wing, the team received a penalty for hitting an air hose and fell back to 18th place. In the final stages of the race Dixon managed to claw his way back up to 13th, where he would ultimately finish.

Career at Sonoma: In eight starts at Sonoma Raceway, Dixon has earned one win (2007) one pole win (2006) and two podium finishes. The driver of the No. 9 car has led in three out of his eight starts (for 57 laps) and competed all but one lap in his Sonoma Raceway career.

In the Points: Following Mid-Ohio, Dixon maintained second in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings with 422 markers, -31 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 Target Team

Dario Heating Up: The Scotsman is in the midst of a four-race stretch in which he's finished in the top four, including three podiums, and leaped from 12th to sixth in the championship standings heading into Sonoma.

Keep the Top-Five Alive: 118 - Top-five finishes by Dario Franchitti, which ranks seventh all time. He's now just one behind Bobby Rahal after his podium finish of third at Mid-Ohio.

Mid-Ohio Race Rewind: Franchitti qualified the No. 10 Honda sixth and by lap four had overtaken the No. 25 car for fifth. By lap 19 he had moved up to fourth and the team pit for the first time on lap 30 from that position. On lap 43 Franchitti ran sixth in the order and then pit for the second time on lap 46. With 21 laps remaining the team pit for the final time from third, where they would ultimately finish.

Last Time in Sonoma: Franchitti moved up two positions from his sixth-place starting position after the green flag dropped and held fourth place. He pitted on lap 20 and for the second time in lap 42. The No. 10 Target car took new tires and made minor adjustments after finding the car was loose the laps prior to the pit stop. Franchitti worked his way up to fifth place on lap 45. He made his final pit stop to get fresh tires with 24 laps to go, and held his position in the top five. A late caution flag came out with just 21 laps to go. After the green flag dropped again, Franchitti was running in fourth and barely had time to turn a full lap before another yellow flag was displayed. He restarted the race in third place with eight laps to go, where he would eventually finish.

Career at Sonoma: In seven starts at Sonoma Raceway, Franchitti has one win (2009), two poles (2007, 2009), and five podiums finishes. The driver of the No.10 car has led 137 laps at Sonoma Raceway and competed every lap in his Sonoma Raceway career.

In the Points: With the results in Mid-Ohio, Franchitti is sixth in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings with 342 markers, -111 points behind leader 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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