Franchitti Third, Dixon 18th at Long Beach
Results (with starting pos.) from Long Beach
1. (3) Mike Conway, No. 27 Honda Dallara
2. (12) Ryan Briscoe, No. 6 Honda Dallara
3. (7) Dario Franchitti, No. 10 Target Honda Dallara
18. (8) Scott Dixon, No. 9 Target Honda Dallara
LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 17, 2011) – Target Chip Ganassi Racing drivers Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon began Sunday’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach from the seventh and eighth positions, respectively. Franchitti steadily worked his way forward throughout the course of the 85-lap event and moved into the top-three on a lap 66, turn one restart that shuffled up the running order. After avoiding contact on the restart, Franchitti drove on to his third podium in as many races this season, regaining the points lead in the process.
Dixon ran as high as sixth place, but the lap 66 restart was not as kind to the No. 9 Target Team as contact sent them into the pits to repair suspension damage. Dixon returned to the race in 19th and picked up one spot to finish 18th.
With the results, Franchitti regains the IZOD IndyCar Series championship lead with 122, while Dixon drops from fourth to seventh with 66 markers.
Up next for Team Target is Round 4 of the IZOD IndyCar Series at the Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle Sunday, May 1st (12:00 p.m. ET, VERSUS).
Dario Franchitti: “The car was really quick everywhere except for turning into the straight and down the straight. I think with the gear ratio and setting up for the wrong parts of the track made it hard for me to pass anyone because of the gap they would get coming out of the hairpin. It was an interesting day for us. It has been a long time since the radio failed. After the first stop, it went out so we were getting wrong signals and mixed calls. I caught a little bit of luck to get on the podium because the other guys took each other out on the restart. I almost got caught up in one incident because I locked the wheels up and we did the best we could to avoid the incident. I struggled on the out lap after my last pit stop and I don't know if it was the car or something I need to work on but we lost a lot of time there. Overall it was a good day for Target Chip Ganassi Racing to be on the podium and I am pleased to be first in points for the championship running.”