Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti, 2012 IICS Indianapolis 500 Pre-Race Notes & QuotesBy R. Mark Stiles
Target Chip Ganassi Racing Indianapolis 500 Advance Notes
Race: Indianapolis 500 Sunday, May 27 (12:00 PM ET, ABC)
Track: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
Location: Speedway, Indiana
Follow Team Target on Twitter: Continue to follow @TCGRTeams for official updates from Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR).
There’s an App for that: Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) and SapientNitro SM recently re-launched an updated mobile application, which is one of the first for the high-velocity world of racing. The application brings fans updated driver and event information, and exclusive content in one centralized and expansive mobile experience, bringing to life the rich heritage and legendary success of CGRT. The unique mobile application conveys the high-octane rush of the racing experience for a team that competes at the highest levels in three series – the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS), IZOD IndyCar Series and GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series. Click here to visit the iTunes Application store and download the CGRT mobile app.
Managing Director Mike Hull on Indianapolis: “The Indy 500 is one of the oldest and most important races in the world – it’s a big race! Having our two Target Honda cars for Scott and Dario in “the greatest spectacle” is a big deal. It continually holds the record as the largest single-day attended sporting event globally. The race is 200 laps; a full green-flag run between stops could be 30 laps; with yellows, there could be as many as nine pit stops; and, over the past five years half of the 33 car starting field has been on the lead lap at the end. To give you an idea about the space covered on a given green lap during the race, even with 32 other cars, the real estate covered will average 41 seconds for two and one half miles. If our Target car pits under green, the stop takes nine seconds, and the in-and-out time is 41 seconds – now that’s not what you want to do unless your competition follows you into the pits under yellow. Memorial Day Sunday is all about the Indy 500 – watch us live on ABC.”
Making History Together: Minneapolis-based Target celebrates its 23rd anniversary in motorsports with Chip Ganassi Racing in 2012. Since its formation, TCGR has amassed 86 victories and nine titles (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), including three Indianapolis 500 victories (2000, 2008, 2010). The 2012 season includes two full-time entries in the IZOD IndyCar Series with Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti and a full-time entry in the NSCS for 1999 CART Champion and 2000 Indianapolis 500 Winner Juan Pablo Montoya, as Team Target continues to feature some of the world’s most accomplished race car drivers. The Target Racing Program enters 2012 with 95 wins across four series (CART/INDYCAR: 86; GRAND-AM: 4; ARCA: 4; NSCS: 1).
Ganassi’s IMS Glory: Ganassi’s history at IMS over the years includes four wins as a team owner in the Indianapolis 500 (1989, 2000, 2008, 2010) in addition to winning the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400. He was also named Rookie of the Year as a driver in the 1983 Indianapolis 500.
Off to a good start: TCGR has visited Indianapolis Motor Speedway 18 times, making 38 starts with 19 different drivers. Three times, TCGR drivers have started from the pole (1993: Arie Luyendyk; 2002: Bruno Junqueira; 2008: Dixon) and 10 times from the front row.
Dominating the Yard: In 38 starts at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, TCGR drivers have amassed three wins (2000: Montoya; 2008: Dixon; 2010: Franchitti), three poles, five podiums, 13 top-fives and 23 top-10s.
Leading the way: In their 18 visits to IMS, TCGR drivers have led 1,050 of a possible 3,600 laps. That is 29% of the laps run at IMS since 1990.
Recapping Victory: In 2000, Montoya started second and led 167 laps on his way to TCGR’s first Indianapolis 500 win. In 2008, Dixon started from the pole and led 115 laps en route to victory, while in 2010 Franchitti started third and led 155 laps on the way to winning his second Indianapolis 500.
Running circles: Since 1990, Indy cars have visited oval tracks 211 times. TCGR has accumulated 44 victories, 43 poles, 15 double-podiums, 102 podiums, 160 top-fives and 262 top-10s on ovals. Out of a possible 82,940 laps for all team Target starts on ovals, TCGR drivers have completed 73,458 laps (88.6%).
Front of the pack: In 211 visits to oval tracks since 1990, TCGR has led in 126 of those races (59.7%). Of the 43,457 laps run on ovals in that time frame, Team Target drivers have led 9,917 laps (22.8%).
Honda Power: Honda comes to IMS second in the Manufacturers’ Championship, with 24 points, trailing Chevrolet by 12. Lotus is third with 16.
Did you Know?: Four years in a row (2008-2011) a TCGR driver has led the most laps in the Indianapolis 500 (2008: Dixon – 115; 2009: Dixon – 73; 2010: Franchitti: 155; 2011: Dixon – 73).
Scott Dixon and the No. 9 Target Team
Dixon on Twitter: Catch the latest from the driver of the No. 9 Target Honda by following Dixon’s personal twitter account, @scottdixon9.
Brazil Recap: Dixon started third and completed the opening 19 laps there before making his first stop of the day. The No. 9 Target Honda continued in the top-four until pitting for the second time on lap 46. As green flag pit stops cycled through, Dixon inherited the lead on lap 55 and remained on point until an ill-timed caution on lap 63 forced him to pit road under the yellow for a fuel-only stop. A wild restart on lap 67 required him to stop as cars in front of him completely blocked the course. He would pit for tires on lap 71, dropping him to 18th. The No. 9 team gained one position in the closing laps to finish 17th.
Career at Indy: This year’s running of the Indianapolis 500 marks Dixon’s 10th start in the event. In his previous nine starts, he has one win, one pole and has led 303 laps. He has completed 1,650 of the 1,746 laps run at Indy (94.5%). The driver of the No. 9 has an average start of 5.8 and an average finish of 8.2. Dixon’s best start and finish came in 2008 when he started and finished first.
Oval Success: In 117 starts on oval tracks, Dixon has 17 wins, 15 poles, 45 podiums and has led 3,095 laps. His average starting position is 8.9 and his average finishing position is 8.2.
Last Year in the 500: Dixon rolled off the grid second and took the lead in turn one, opening up a half-second lead by the end of lap one. He and Target teammate Franchitti swapped the lead back-and-forth for much of the day. The No. 9 Target Honda remained in the top-two running order for the majority of the race, leading a race-high 73 laps and finishing fifth.
Chasing History: Dixon currently ranks 19th on the list of all-time Indianapolis 500 lap-leaders. In nine starts, Dixon has led 293 laps. If he leads 47 laps, Dixon will overtake Gordon Johncock for 13th on the list.
The One and Only: Dixon is the only driver from New Zealand to ever have won the Indianapolis 500.
Engine, Engine, Number Nine: With a second win in the Indianapolis 500, the No. 9 car will have won for the fifth time. Sam Hanks (1957), Rick Mears (1979), Montoya (2000) and Dixon (2008) have all won with the No. 9.
Twice Would be Nice: With his second win at IMS, Dixon would tie Franchitti, Tommy Milton, Bill Vukovich, Rodger Ward, Gordon Johncock, Emerson Fittipaldi, Al Unser, Jr., Luyendyk and Dan Wheldon with two victories in the “world’s most famous race.”
In the Points: With the results in Sao Paulo, Dixon dropped from fourth to sixth in the IZOD IndyCar point standings with 109 points, 71 points behind leader, Will Power.
Making History: Dixon is a two-time IZOD IndyCar Series Champion, earning titles in 2003 and 2008. He is tied for 11th with Johnny Rutherford on the all-time wins list with 27 victories. He is also tied with Emerson Fittipaldi in 18th on the all-time poles list with 17.
Dario Franchitti and the No. 50 Target Team
Franchitti on Twitter: Catch the latest from the driver of the No. 50 Target Honda by following Franchitti’s personal twitter account, @dariofranchitti.
Car Number Change for IMS: In honor of Target’s 50th Anniversary this May, Franchitti will run the No. 50 instead of his usual No. 10 in this year’s running of the Indianapolis 500. The 2012 season also marks Target’s 23rd year with the race team.
Brazil Recap: Franchitti started the race second in the No.10 car and remained there prior to his first stop of the day on lap 21 of the 75-lap race, where the team made a front wing adjustment. Franchitti came to the line for a lap 27 restart in second, until contact from behind resulted in a reverse spin, which brought out another caution. The team would pit under the caution, returning to the race 22nd, the last car on the lead-lap. The team worked their way back into the top-five and Franchitti finished fifth, his highest finish of the first four races this season.
Career at Indy: In eight career starts at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Franchitti has two wins and has led 306 laps. He has completed 1,543 out of 1,546 laps (99.8%). He has an average start and finish position of 9.0 and 8.4, respectively. His best start is third, four times (2004, 2007, 2009, 2010) and twice he has won (2007, 2010).
Oval Office: Franchitti has participated in 126 oval races, earning 15 victories, 12 poles, 39 podiums and leading 3,282 laps. He has an average start of 8.2 and an average finish of 10.2.
Last Year in the 500: The No. 10 Target team started the Indianapolis 500 ninth, but quickly worked their way to the top-five. Franchitti remained on point for much of the day, leading the second-most laps behind Dixon, with 51. After his final pit stop on lap 164 from the lead, Franchitti made it to lap 199 before a splash of fuel was needed to complete the 500-mile distance – resulting in a 12th-place finish.
On the Verge of History: Franchitti currently ranks 15th in the number of laps led in the Indianapolis 500. In eight starts, he has led 306 laps. If he leads 27 laps, he will surpass Louis Meyer for 14th on the list.
The Scotsman: There are only two drivers from Scotland that have ever won the Indianapolis 500: Jimmy Clark, from Kilmany, won the Indianapolis 500 in 1965 and Franchitti, from Edinburgh, won in 2007 and 2010.
All-Time Win List: If Franchitti wins his third Indianapolis 500, he will tie Sebastian Bourdais and Paul Tracy for eighth on the all-time wins list with 31 and also join Meyer, Rutherford, Wilbur Shaw, Mauri Rose, Bobby Unser and Helio Castroneves with three wins in the Indianapolis 500.
Making History: Franchitti is a four-time IZOD IndyCar Series Champion, bringing home titles in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011. He ranks ninth on both the all-time wins list and all-time poles list with 30 and 26, respectively.
About Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, Inc.
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 four 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 14 championships and 145 victories, including three Indianapolis 500s, a Daytona 500, a Brickyard 400 and four 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.
For more information log onto chipganassiracing.com
Source: Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, Inc., Press Release
Article Tags: 2012 Indianapolis 500, 2012 Indy 500, 96th Indianapolis 500, 96th Indy 500, Dario Franchitti, IICS, IMS, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IndyCar, IZOD, IZOD IndyCar Series, Scott Dixon, The Brickyard