Birmingham: Chip Ganassi Racing preview

Managing Director Mike Hull on Barber: "Our Target guys are looking forward to the challenge of a real and natural terrain road track at the Barber Motorsports Track. It's special to be part of bringing the best open wheel series in the world to...

Managing Director Mike Hull on Barber: "Our Target guys are looking forward to the challenge of a real and natural terrain road track at the Barber Motorsports Track. It's special to be part of bringing the best open wheel series in the world to the state of Alabama for the first time. Based upon how competitive it has been at Brazil and St. Pete, the Grand Prix of Alabama will be decided on the last lap."

Third car for Ganassi at Barber: The No. 01 TELMEX Dinan-Prepared BMW Riley returns to Barber Motorsports Park as the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 shares the track with the IZOD IndyCar Series this weekend. Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas sit at the top of the GRAND-AM Rolex Series championship standings after winning the Grand Prix of Miami and finishing runner-up at the Rolex 24 At Daytona. In six visits to Barber Motorsports Park, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates has never finished outside the top-10 with five top-fives and three podiums. Pruett and Rojas won the event in 2008 and claimed the runner-up position in 2009.

Dario Franchitti and the No. 10 Suave Team

Suave car: Suave will serve as the primary sponsor of the Target Chip Ganassi Racing No.10 Honda Dallara for reigning IZOD IndyCar Series Champion Franchitti. The partnership with the team is a follow-up from last year's program where Unilever brand Vaseline MEN was the primary paint scheme for one race with Franchitti.

Dario Dominates: The last time the IZOD IndyCar Series visited a permanent road course was at Infineon Raceway in August 2009. After starting from the pole, Franchitti led all 75 laps and claimed his 12th road course victory en route to his second championship.

Barber Open Test: Franchitti ran as high as ninth quick in his practice sessions on opening day of the February test with a best time of 1:11.1825 seconds and a top speed of 116.321 mph. An on-track incident during the third practice session prevented Franchitti from completing more than three laps, but even with limited track time, Franchitti's pace was not far off the leaders -- separated by only 1.3 seconds.

Thoughts on Barber: "It's a really interesting track. It's a fabulous facility -- the way it's built, the way it's kept. The track is a real commitment track, a lot of really, really fast corners. I've enjoyed it a lot so far."

St. Pete Recap: Franchitti started the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg 13th but fell to 23rd when he spun under slick track conditions on lap one. He worked his way up to sixth before a flat left rear tire would force a pit stop and drop him to 19th. He made an impressive charge to the front -- passing seven cars in the final 11 laps to finish fifth. Franchitti sits second in the championship standings in a three-way tie with Ryan Hunter-Reay and Justin Wilson.

Scott Dixon and the No. 9 Target Team

On The Road In 2009: In three visits to permanent road courses last year, Dixon scored two top-fives -- leading 51 laps to take the win at Mid-Ohio and finishing third at Watkins Glen.

Barber Testing: During pre-season testing at Barber Motorsports Park in February, Dixon laid down over 100 laps and was fourth quick with a time of 1:10.0594 seconds and a top speed of 118.185 mph.

Dixon on Barber Test: "I think we definitely made drastic improvements on the car for this course. Overall the car was pretty decent and we were in the hunt which is nice because the last time we came away from this test we were struggling and four or five tenths off. It's nice to know that we made some gains with the car and we've got some development items on our test list checked off."

Dixon Leads 3,000 Laps: By leading 21 laps at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Dixon joined Sam Hornish Jr. and Helio Castroneves to become the third driver to lead 3,000 laps in the IZOD IndyCar Series. Dixon needs to lead 414 more laps to become the record holder for most laps led.

-source: cgr

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Justin Wilson , Helio Castroneves , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Scott Pruett , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Memo Rojas , Chip Ganassi , Mike Hull , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Chip Ganassi Racing