Scott Dixon and the No. 9 Target Honda Team (IRL) Stunning at Sonoma: In Dixon's three trips to Infineon Raceway, the Indianapolis 500 champion has tallied one pole and win for TCGR. He joins Marco Andretti, Tony Kanaan and Wheldon as the...
Scott Dixon and the No. 9 Target Honda Team (IRL)
Stunning at Sonoma: In Dixon's three trips to Infineon Raceway, the Indianapolis 500 champion has tallied one pole and win for TCGR. He joins Marco Andretti, Tony Kanaan and Wheldon as the only drivers to lead laps in two of the last three races in Sonoma. Dixon joins another elite crop of IndyCar drivers (Kanaan, Dario Franchitti and Vitor Meira) as the only four drivers to complete all laps run at the track since the inaugural event in 2005 (240 laps).
Follow the Leader: In the last three years Dixon has lead 55 of the total 240 laps, marking a leading advantage of 23%.
Best Season: When Dixon won at Kentucky, Chip Ganassi Racing, Inc. (CGR) scored its 14th win of the season, besting the previous mark for victories in a single season (13), set in 2007, and was the 103rd for the team since 1994.
Winning at Kentucky: With Dixon's last lap, last turn pass on Helio Castroneves at Kentucky Speedway two weeks ago, the Kiwi cinched TCGR's first victory at the track. Belle Isle is the only other track on the 2008 IndyCar schedule where the Indianapolis-based team has not won. However, Alex Zanardi won for TCGR in 1998 when the team competed in the CART series.
Laps Led: Dixon led 151 laps at Kentucky which enabled him to become the fifth driver in IndyCar Series history to lead 2,000 laps (2,149) in his career. He joined Sam Hornish, Jr., Castroneves, Tony Kanaan and TCGR teammate Wheldon in this feat.
Surpasses Zanardi: With Dixon's win in Kentucky the No.9 Target driver surpassed TCGR open wheel legend Alex Zanardi as the winningest IndyCar driver in the team's history. His 16th win beat Zanardi's previous 15 visits to victory lane.
Promising Pole Position: Winning the pole position at the last event, Dixon secured his claim as the second all-time leading pole-setter (14) tying Greg Ray.
Dan Wheldon and the No. 10 Target Honda Team (IRL)
Rubbin' New Tires: Wheldon is one of the four drivers (Dixon, Castroneves and Kanaan) in contention for the championship and will sport a different tire design to signify and distinguish the possible championship winners. The tire will have a white side-wall and black lettering instead of the traditional black side-wall with white lettering.
Target Visit: Wheldon and Dixon will visit Target headquarters in Minneapolis on Thursday before arriving in Sonoma for a national sales meeting. The TCGR duo and team will host over 200 Target and vendor sponsors for Sunday's race at Infineon.
TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates
Scott Pruett/Memo Rojas and the No. 01 TELMEX Lexus Team (Grand-Am)
Happy Birthday, Memo: Rojas celebrated his 27th birthday on Monday in Mexico City and hopped on an early morning flight on Tuesday to spend a day with the Pruett's at their vineyard before this weekend's race at Infineon.
Hometown Hero: Pruett will host an entourage of personal friends and family at this weekend's race. Pruett grew up in Sacramento and currently resides in Auburn, a 90-minute drive to Sonoma where he tends to his vineyard and restored cars in his spare time.
Family Fun Pack: Infineon Raceway has partnered with Scott and Judy Pruett to feature a "family fun" ticket package which allows fans to purchase two adult and two children's tickets for Saturday's Grand-Am race. Purchasers will also receive a copy of the Pruett's newest children's book, 'Racing through the Alphabet' and will have access to attend a private book reading by the authors on Saturday.
Atop the Standings: Pruett and Rojas will enter Saturday's event with a 49-point margin over the No.99 car as the TELMEX team continues to hold the championship points lead into Round #12. The TELMEX duo has entered each race this season as the points leader and has led 521 laps of 1,648 total laps run this season.
Sonoma in the Rear View: In two starts (2007 and 2006) at the famed Northern California track, the No.01 TELMEX car has started in fourth position twice and scored two podium finishes (3rd and 1st, respectively). Pruett has lead 62 of the total 196 laps run in the past two years, denoting a 32-percent leading advantage. In 2006 the team scored their first win at the track after Pruett fought back from 19th position after then-teammate Luis Diaz made contact with another car earlier in the race. That win tallied CGR's 75th career win; the team surpassed the 100 win mark on July 12th in Nashville Superspeedway with TCGR teammate, Scott Dixon. The team's podium finish in 2007 was less dramatic as the Pruett/Rojas duo ran consistently in the top-five through the entire 97-lap event.
Comparisons, Comparisons: For the first time in Grand-Am's two-year history at Sonoma, two races (New Jersey and Salt Lake City) will remain after visiting Infineon Raceway rather than only one event. With that difference in mind, the TELMEX's team proficiency in the late stages of the season are highlighted below:
No. 9 Target Honda (IRL): Chassis IR6-003; Chassis won last IndyCar race at Kentucky and inaugural Edmonton event.
No. 10 Target Honda (IRL): Chassis IR6-002; Car won with Wheldon at Chicagoland Speedway in 2006.
No. 01 TELMEX (Grand-Am): Nine previous race starts. Five wins, Homestead-Miami, VIR, Watkins Glen Six-Hour, Daytona 250 and Barber (2008). Two pole positions, Mexico City and Montreal (2008).