DIXON, FRANCHITTI ARE READY FOR BALTIMORE
Target Chip Ganassi Racing Baltimore Advance Notes
Race: Baltimore Grand Prix, September 4 (2:00 PM ET, VERSUS)
Track: Streets of Baltimore (2.4-mile Street Course)
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Follow TCGR on Twitter: Follow @TCGRTeams for official updates from Target Chip Ganassi Racing.
Managing Director Mike Hull on Baltimore: “Once again, a street race in a large metropolitan area. We’ve been to St. Pete, and Long Beach, so now coupled with Baltimore, Indy Car racing takes it straight to the fans. Our Target guys get to do something that each of us would like to do, and will drive at well-over one hundred miles per hour around Inner Harbor and Camden Yards. Getting it right over man-hole covers, crowned roadway, and curbing is very difficult. This weekend we will be focusing on what we call “turn-in, and putting the power down.” That will be what makes the difference on Sunday.”
Team Target at Baltimore: Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR) has made 198 starts on street courses throughout their history. In those races that have racked up 21 wins, 51 podiums, 73 top-fives and 110 top-10s. Along with their solid finishes, TCGR has scored 16 poles on this type of course. Out of a possible 17,317 laps, the team has completed 14,497 of them (83.7%) and has led 1,467 of them (8.5%). Team Target’s average start on street courses is 8.5 and their average finish is 10.5. TCGR has been running at the finish in 132 of their 198 street course starts (66.7%).
Top-Five or Bust: TCGR has had at least one of their two cars finish inside the top-five in every race this season. Dixon currently has nine top-fives and Franchitti has 11 through 14 rounds of the 2011 schedule. The last time an Indy car race did not have at least one TCGR car included in the top-five was back in Round 8 of the 2010 season at Iowa Speedway when Dixon finished sixth and Franchitti was 18th.
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.
2011 Season Recap: In Dixon’s 14 starts during the 2011 season, he has completed 99.4% of the total laps (1,762 of 1,773), leading 128 of them. At this point of the season, he has tallied one win, nine top-five and 10 top-10 finishes. Dixon’s average starting spot this season is 6.3, while his average finish is 7.2. He has been running at the finish in every race this year and finished on the lead lap 11 times.
Street Course History: During his time with TCGR, Dixon has made 26 starts on street courses. In those starts, he has scored two wins, seven podiums, 11 top-fives and 14 top-10s. To go with his two wins, he also grabbed the pole at Belle Isle in 2008. His average start in street races with TCGR is 5.2 and his average finish is 10. Dixon has completed 88% of the laps scheduled in his 26 starts (2,026 of 2,303) and has been running at the finish of 18 races.
Join the Club: If Dixon is able to win the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix, he will become only the fourth driver in TCGR history to win three or more street course races with the team. Along with Alex Zanardi (Seven wins), Franchitti (Four) and Jimmy Vasser (Three), Dixon would pick up his third street win with TCGR (Edmonton-2008, 2010).
Dixon Previews Baltimore: In early August, Dixon toured the streets of Baltimore and joined Baltimore Police Commissioner Fred Bealefeld to announce the “Smooth Operator” campaign, which promotes safe driving. Dixon was also able to drive and analyze the layout of the track, noting, "They've done a fantastic job paving. The streets are wide and forgiving, and there are at least three or four corners that should be good for passing. I love that it's downtown. The atmosphere will be fantastic."
Sonoma Recap: Dixon started the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma from fifth and ran inside the top-five throughout the first stint of the race. After the first round of green flag pit stops, Dixon maintained his position and was able to keep pace with Target teammate Franchitti. Following the second cycle of stops, Dixon held onto his top-five spot and closed the gap on the four cars in front of him. Then, on a restart with six laps-to-go, Dixon fended off challenges from behind and drove the No.9 Target Honda Dallara to a fifth-place finish, giving him his ninth top-five of the year.
In the Points: With his top-five finish at Infineon Raceway, Dixon holds on to third in the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series point standings with 400 points. He is now 75 points behind Franchitti in the overall standings and 49 points behind Will Power for second place. Dixon is also leading the AJ Foyt Oval Trophy Standings by 17 points over Franchitti, and sits third in the Mario Andretti Road Trophy standings, 92 points behind Franchitti.
Dario Franchitti and the No. 10 Kellogg’s 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 in 2011: Through 14 rounds of the 2011 season, Franchitti has shown the same consistency that has brought him three IZOD IndyCar Championships since 2007. In his 14 starts, he has four wins, 11 top-fives, 12 top-10s and two poles. He has also completed 1,676 of 1,773 laps (94.5%) and led 739 of them (41.7%). He has been running at the finish of all but one race so far this season and has only finished off of the lead lap once. His average start this season is 5.9 and his average finish is 4.8.
On the Streets with TCGR: Franchitti has made 14 starts on street courses since joining Target Chip Ganassi Racing in 2009. In those races, he has tallied four wins, eight podiums, 12 top-fives and 13 top-10s. His average start on street courses is 5.1 and his average finish is 3.7. In addition to his finishes, Franchitti has two poles (Toronto-2009, Brazil-2010) and has started inside the top-five nine times.
Hitting Their Stride: In his 14 street course races with TCGR, Franchitti has been one of the most consistent drivers to hit the track. He has been able to avoid being caught up in any on-track incidents and has completed every lap of competition (1,196 of 1,196). Franchitti has also led 276 laps (23%), been running at the finish of every race and has finished outside of the top-10 once (12th – 2010 Long Beach).
Starting Up Front: Franchitti comes into the Baltimore Grand Prix with the longest active streak of starting inside the top-five with five consecutive races. The No. 10 Honda has not qualified outside of the top-five since starting sixth for the Iowa Corn Indy 250 at Iowa Speedway on June 25th. The last time Franchitti qualified outside of the top-10 was at Kentucky Speedway in Round 15 of the 2010 season, when he started 11th.
Napa Valley Recap: Franchitti started the afternoon from fourth place and kept the No. 10 Target Honda inside the top-four for much of the first run of the race. Following the first round of green flag pit stops on lap-27, Franchitti maintained his top-four position throughout the run and came in for his final stop under green with 25 laps-to-go. Following a restart with six laps left, Franchitti held off Dixon and remained fourth. In the end, Franchitti brought the No.10 home fourth for his 11th top-five of the 2011 season.
In the Points: After his fourth-place finish at Infineon Raceway, Franchitti is now 26 points ahead of second-place Power in the overall championship standings. He remains the leader in the Mario Andretti Road Trophy standings, and holds a seven-point lead over Power with just two road/street events remaining. Franchitti is also second in the AJ Foyt Oval Trophy standings, 17 points behind Dixon with two oval events to go.