Team Target Sweeps Doubleheader Weekend in Toronto
1. 1. (5) Scott Dixon (No. 9 Target Honda)
2. 2. (2) Sebastien Bourdais (No. 7 Chevrolet)
3. 3. (1) Dario Franchitti (No. 10 Target Honda)
1. 1. (1) Scott Dixon (No. 9 Target Honda)
2. 2. (3) Helio Castroneves (No. 3 Chevrolet)
3. 3. (7) Sebastien Bourdais (No. 7 Chevrolet)
4. 4. (2) Dario Franchitti (No. 10 Target Honda)
Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR) took both poles (Dario Franchitti-Race 1, Scott Dixon-Race 2) and then Dixon swept both race wins with Franchitti scoring two top-five finishes (third, fourth) in Rounds 12 and 13 of the IZOD IndyCar Series at the Honda Indy Toronto on the Streets of Toronto. With the results, Dixon brought home an additional $100,000 for winning the SONAX Perfect Finish Award bonus for winning both rounds in Toronto.
Race 1 – Saturday, June 13
Dixon started Race 1 on the inside of the third row after qualifying the No. 9 Target Honda fifth on the 1.75-mile street circuit. In the first standing start attempt since 2008, INDYCAR officials aborted the start for a car stalled on the grid. A rolling start took place shortly after, and by lap 5 of 85 Dixon fell back to sixth. The No. 9 car fought to get back to fifth on lap 7 and four laps later was able to pass another car for fourth. Dixon made good ground and while in third, pit for the first time on lap 26. The No. 9 car held its ground through a full course caution and restart, taking 0.5-seconds out of the leader’s 1.0-second gap. Dixon moved up to second with 27 laps to go and stayed out a lap longer than the lap leader to make up the gap for the lead. The strategy paid off and on lap 63 the No. 9 car beat the leader out of the pits and held off a challenge for the lead. With 16 laps to go on a restart Dixon then dropped to third, but made up ground to second in just four laps. With nine laps to go Dixon was side by side with the leader and attempted to pass, but could not get around. One lap later Dixon was able to pass for the lead. The No. 9 car held the lead and with four laps to go a caution was called. On the final lap restart Dixon got a huge jump and led all the way to the checkered flag.
Franchitti started the race on the inside of the front row after qualifying the No. 10 Target Honda on pole position. When the race went green Franchitti held the lead for the first 20 laps. On lap 20 the No. 10 car reported the tires were falling off and fell back to fourth. Franchitti pit from fourth to change tires and returned to the circuit in the same position. The No. 10 car held on to fourth, but on lap 63 dropped back to fifth. Franchitti made his way back to fourth and in the final stages had more push to pass left than any other driver in the top-10 (6). With 12 laps to go, the No. 10 car jumped up to third on a restart, and finished there for a Target double-podium result.
Race 2 – Sunday, June 14
Dixon started the race on the inside of the front row after qualifying the No. 9 Target Honda on pole position. The second standing start of the weekend was a success, and Dixon held his position and built a 1.49-second gap from the start. The No. 9 car had increased its lead to more than four seconds by lap 15 and had led every lap. Dixon then pit from the lead and had a quick stop to rejoin the race in the lead. The No. 9 car built an 8.1-second lead 31 laps into the race and clinched the two bonus points for leading the most laps in the race on lap 47. Dixon then improved to a 13-second gap over second place. Under a full course caution with 13 laps to go, the No. 9 car fought to keep its lead on the restart. With two laps to go another full course caution was displayed and Dixon drove to the checkered flag after leading 81 of 85 laps.
Franchitti started the race on the outside of the front row after qualifying the No. 10 Target Honda second. On the standing start, Franchitti fell back to sixth after making slight contact with the rear of the No. 3 car. The No. 10 car had to pit for a new front wing and changed from red tires to black tires. Franchitti returned to the circuit and tried to make up ground for the early pit on lap 5 of 85. On lap 41 Franchitti was in 12th and trying to get back to the top-10. The No. 10 car was able to move up three positions to ninth by lap 57. Franchitti then made it in and out of pit lane just in time as a full course caution was called, and was up to sixth by lap 72. Under the last caution of the race with two laps to go, Franchitti made his way to fourth, where he would ultimately finish.
With the results, Dixon moved up two places to second in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings with 396 markers, -29 points behind leader Helio Castroneves. Franchitti is now sixth with 307 markers, -118 points back.
Honda is second in the manufacturer point standings with 96 points, trailing Chevrolet with 99.
Up next for Team Target is Round 14 of the IZOD IndyCar Series with the Honda Indy 200 from Lexington, Ohio on Sunday, August 4 (3:00pm ET NBC Sports).
TCGR swept both poles for the doubleheader races (Franchitti-Race 1, Dixon-Race 2) marking the first time in Indy car racing history a team has accomplished such a feat
Franchitti’s Race 1 pole was the 32nd of his Indy car career, tying him for sixth on the all-time list with Michael Andretti
The pole was Franchitti’s fifth career pole at Toronto (1997, 1998, 2009, 2012 and 2013)
Both Target cars qualified for the Firestone Fast 6 shootout in Race 1
The Race 1 and 2 poles marked the 79th and 80th in Indy car racing for TCGR
Toronto’s Race 2 pole was Dixon’s 19th career Indy car pole, tying for 15th on the all-time list with Danny Sullivan
Race 2 at Toronto was also a front-row lockout of qualifying for Team Target with Dixon in first and Franchitti in second
With the Race 1 and Race 2 wins, Dixon moved past teammate Franchitti, Sebastien Bourdais and Paul Tracy for sole possession of seventh on the all-time Indy car wins list with 32. The only drivers remaining in front of him on the list have last names of Foyt (AJ), Andretti (Mario and Michael) and Unser (Al, Bobby and Al Jr.)
Dixon became the winningest active Indy car driver with his victory in Race 2
The Race 2 win was Dixon’s third in a row (Pocono, Toronto Race 1 and Race 2) and third in the last eight days, tying him for the second-best streak of its kind in Indy car racing history. He tied Mario Andretti who won three races from July 30 to Aug. 6, 1968 (July 30, Langhorne, Pa., and a double-header Aug. 6 at St. Jovite, Quebec). The best streak is held by Al Unser who won four races in eight days in 1969 (two July 21 at Indianapolis Raceway Park and two July 28 at Langhorne, Pa.)
Dixon’s last three-in-a-row stretch was in 2007 (Watkins Glen, Nashville and Mid-Ohio), and the last in the series was accomplished by Ryan Hunter-Reay (Milwaukee, Iowa, Toronto) en route to the 2012 championship
Dixon gave TCGR its fifth and sixth victory on the Streets of Toronto. (1994: Michael Andretti; 1998: Alex Zanardi; 2009: Franchitti; 2011: Franchitti; 2013: Dixon; 2013: Dixon)
The wins marked TCGR’s 91st and 92nd and CGRT’s 154th and 155th overall
The wins marked the 101st and 102nd for the Target Racing Program
Dixon clinched a $100,000 SONAX Perfect Finish Award bonus for winning both Toronto races
TCGR Quoteboard Race 1
Scott Dixon: “First of all, I want to say a big thanks to everyone in Toronto. There have been great crowds here and the fans have been fantastic as usual. These doubleheaders are tough. We got through Race 1 and this win is big. I’ve got to thank Target, Target Canada and the whole team. We had terrific pit stops. It was just a crazy day. I think there at the end on that restart we definitely got jumped. I was meant to be the leader, and they blew on by before I even went. We’ll review what happened there later. It’s okay, we definitely had the speed and a few more overtakes to go to the end.”
TCGR Quoteboard Race 2
Scott Dixon: “Once again, I want to thank everyone for coming out today. Toronto fans are something special. It was a little hotter today and it was a little faster paced, so we were definitely trying to hang on there. I think it’s been since, ’03 or ’08, that we’ve had that kind of run. I’m just so happy for the team. We’re second place in the IZOD IndyCar Series points now. What a turnaround in a couple of weeks. It’s a big difference.”
Dario Franchitti: “I was trying not to lose too many positions and I was on the outside of turn one when we kind of checked-up. I just got in the back of the No. 3 car and I couldn’t avoid it. It was just a racing incident – my mistake. After that, every lap was a qualifying lap. I came in the pits with the Target boys and then I was off. It was just as hard as I could go every lap. The car was really, really good. You know it’s been a bit of a tough today, but I think we had a better car than yesterday. I would’ve liked to have a better go, but I messed it up in the first lap. It was some pretty tough racing out there.”
About Chip Ganassi Racing Teams
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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