TARGET CHIP GANASSI RACING FLIES TO EDMONTON
Target Chip Ganassi Racing Edmonton Advance Notes
Race: Edmonton Indy on Sunday, July 24 (2:00 PM ET, VERSUS)
Track: Edmonton City Centre Airport (2.256 mile street/airport course)
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Follow TCGR on Twitter: Follow @TCGRTeams for official updates from Target Chip Ganassi Racing.
Managing Director Mike Hull on Edmonton: “The support of the city of Edmonton and the enthusiasm of the Canadian race fans make this event very special. This race track is one of the best examples of a temporary circuit anywhere in the world. The visibility lines from the pit lane, hospitality suites, and grandstands allow spectators to get the same feel that they would have at a one-mile oval. The width and diversity of the corners provides great passing opportunities. Our job once again will be to match the terrain to Dario and Scott’s driving styles, and to be at the front when it counts.”
TCGR History at Edmonton: TCGR has made six starts at the airport course in Edmonton with three different drivers (Scott Dixon-3 starts, Dario Franchitti-2 and Dan Wheldon-1). In those races they have had an average starting position of fifth and an average finishing position of 3.3, which includes two wins (Dixon-2008, 2010), four podiums and five top-fives. TCGR cars have never finished outside of the top-seven on the Canadian street circuit.
Team Target Flying High: TCGR drivers have scored five victories in 30 appearances at airport circuits (Cleveland: Alex Zanardi: 1997, 1998; Juan Pablo Montoya: 1999; Edmonton: Dixon: 2008, 2010).
Top-Two: Since Franchitti joined TCGR in 2009, he and Dixon have finished first and second five times (Dixon-3 wins, Franchitti-2), including last weekend’s race at Toronto. In the races following their four previous one-two finishes, TCGR has made eight starts and racked up two wins (Both by Franchitti), five podiums, six top-fives and seven top-10s. Dixon has not finished outside of the top-five in any of those four races.
Scott Dixon and the No. 9 Target Team
Follow Scott on Twitter: Follow @scottdixon9 for all the happenings and inside information on the driver of the No. 9 Indy car for Target Chip Ganassi Racing.
Edmonton History: Dixon has found success at Edmonton since his first race there during the 2008 season. In his three career starts at the Edmonton City Centre Airport, he has two wins (2008, 2010), three podiums and has never qualified outside of the top-four. His best start came in 2010 when he started third and went on to win his second race at the course. He has led 34 of the 281 laps run in his three starts and has average start of 3.7 and average finish of 1.7.
Leading Laps: Dixon has led 34 laps in his three trips to Edmonton City Centre Airport. He has led at least two laps in each start and led a high of 30 laps on his way to winning the 2008 edition of the event. He is the only driver in TCGR history to lead laps at Edmonton. Dixon is also one of two drivers (Helio Castroneves) who have led laps in each of the last three IZOD IndyCar Series events in Edmonton.
Happy Birthday: On Friday, July 22, Dixon will be celebrating his 31st birthday. He became the youngest driver to win a major open wheel event at the age of 20 when he won his first race in 2001 at Nazareth Speedway after starting from the 23rd position.
Blow out the Candles: Dixon has 10 starts in races on, or the weekend after his birthday. In those starts, Dixon has an average finish of 8.2, but he has tallied three victories (Mid-Ohio - 2007, Edmonton - 2008, 2010), five top-fives and seven top-10s. He also has an average starting position of 8.5, but his best start in these races was second at Michigan in 2003. He has qualified sixth or better in his last four birthday weekend attempts (all on street/road courses).
Toronto Recap: Dixon started the Honda Indy Toronto in second place and ran inside the top-two until a full-course caution came out during a cycle of green flag pit stops on lap 31. After falling outside of the top-10, Dixon used a lap 37 restart to move the No.9 Target Honda into sixth before another yellow flag flew on lap 39. He re-entered the top-five on lap 47 and drove back into the top-three with less than 20 laps-to-go. In the end, Dixon came home in second, giving him his sixth consecutive top-10 finish.
In the Points: With his runner-up finish at Toronto, Dixon scored 40 points, keeping him in third-place in the standings. He is currently 83 points behind leader and teammate Franchitti, but now only trails second-place Will Power by 28 points.
Dario Franchitti and the No. 10 Target Team
Follow Dario on Twitter: Follow @dariofranchitti for all the happenings and inside information on the driver of the No. 10 Indy car for Target Chip Ganassi Racing.
Franchitti at Edmonton: Franchitti returns to Edmonton for the third time in his career. In his two previous starts, he has picked up one podium, two top-fives and had a best finish of third in 2010. His best start at the airport circuit is fourth in 2010, but he has never qualified outside of the top-six. His average starting position is fifth, while his average finish is fourth. Franchitti has completed every lap (190 of 190) in both of the races he has started in Edmonton.
Oh Canada: In 18 career starts in Canada, Franchitti has tallied six wins, nine podiums, 10 top-fives and 12 top-10s. He has also been a consistent qualifier with five poles, 13 top-five and 17 top-10 starting positions. His average start is 4.4 and his average finish is 8.7 in the Great White North. Franchitti is currently riding a streak of seven top-5 finishes in his last seven Canadian races. Those recent finishes include four wins at three different tracks (Toronto–2, Montreal-1, Vancouver-1).
Back-To-Back: Franchitti enters this weekend as the most recent winner in the IZOD IndyCar Series after his win at Toronto. At Edmonton, he is looking to win back-to-back races for the first time since winning the eighth and ninth events of the 2007 season at Iowa and Richmond. It would only be the third time in his career that he won consecutive races, and the second time that he won two street/road course races in a row (Elkhart Lake and Vancouver in 1998, career wins one and two).
Leading at the Half: Drivers leading the championship standings at the midway point of the season have gone on to win the title in six of the last 13 seasons. The race a few weeks ago at Iowa Speedway was round nine of 17, the halfway point of the 2011 season. At Iowa, Franchitti moved into sole possession of the points lead.
Toronto Recap: Franchitti started the afternoon from third and kept the No. 10 Target Honda inside the top-three for much of the early portion of the race. Using pit strategy, and a well-timed yellow, Franchitti took the lead for the first time on lap 33. He led the next 16 laps before a caution on lap 49 put him back to fifth. He wasted little time moving back into the top-three and re-took the lead with 14 laps remaining. Franchitti held on to the top spot and took the checkered flag by 0.7345-seconds ahead of teammate Dixon.
In the Points: With his victory at Toronto, Franchitti extends his points lead over second-place Will Power to 55 markers. Last week’s 50 point effort was the seventh time this season that Franchitti and the No. 10 team scored more than 30 points. No other team has accomplished that feat more than four times.