Chip Ganassi Racing Birmingham race report

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Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR) press release

Dixon Second, Franchitti 10th at Barber

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (April 1, 2012) – Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR) earned its second podium finish of the IZOD IndyCar Series season as Scott Dixon drove his way to a second-place finish in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park. Target teammate Dario Franchitti earned his best finish of the season, with a late charge to finish 10th.

Scott Dixon, Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
Scott Dixon, Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Photo by: Firestone Racing/Dennis Ashlock

Dixon started third and remained in the top-two throughout the majority of the 90-lap race. He led 38 laps at the 2.38-mile course – clinching two bonus points for leading the most laps during the race. Dixon first took the lead on lap 27 after cycling through green flag pit stops as the No. 9 Target team came out ahead of the leader as they returned on track. Dixon gave up the lead on lap 66 during the final cycle of pit stops after losing time behind a slower car on track. The No.9 team crossed the line 3.3709 seconds behind race winner Will Power.

The No. 10 Clorox Honda started the race from the ninth row in 18th position. Franchitti worked to find the balance of the car all day, moving in and out of the top-15 throughout much of the race. The team was able to gain some ground in the closing laps, improving three positions in the last 10 laps for a 10th-place finish.

With the results, Dixon remains second in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings with 84 points, just two behind leader Helio Castroneves. Franchitti improves to 10th in the standings with 37 points.

Honda is second in the manufacturer point standings with 12, trailing Chevrolet with 18.

Up next for Team Target is Round 3 of the IZOD IndyCar Series with the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Sunday, April 15th (3:30 pm ET NBC Sports).

NOTES
- This was the third race for the IZOD IndyCar Series at Barber.

- It was Dixon’s third second-place finish in as many races at the track.

- Dixon has two second-place finishes in as many races in 2012.

- Dixon earned bonus points for the second week in row for leading the most laps.

- It was only the second time Dixon has led laps in the first two races of the season, the first time was in 2003 when he won the series championship.

- It was Dixon’s 17th podium finish on a road course in 40 starts.

- Dixon gives TCGR its 47th podium finish on a road course in 150 starts.

- Franchitti’s 10th place finish is his best finish this season.

- It as Franchitti’s 46th top-10 finish since joining TCGR in 2009.

TCGR Quote Board:

Scott Dixon: “I think today we did a good job. We got caught up there in some traffic in the pit, and the pit sequence kind of got us there. All in all, Team Target did a fantastic job with Honda; I think we’re starting to get onto something with this car, so hopefully in the next few races we might be looking at the top spot on the podium. It was a tough race and huge congratulations to Team Penske and obviously Will, coming from so deep in the field to come back and get on top, it shows they have a strong team.”

Dario Franchitti: “It was a busy day and I passed a lot of cars. We struggled in the initial start. We passed a lot of cars, but that last yellow we didn't need. I think that is the best my car has felt through all of the practices and races and qualifying that we have had this year. So I will take that as a positive and that will give us some kind of direction going to Long Beach. I have never been so happy from a 10th place finish. There was some good racing though. We have some guys on new reds and some on used and it made a big difference, some comers, some goers. There were some really good races out there today. Hopefully it was a good day for the fans. There was a massive crowd and a lot of enthusiasm so it's cool.”

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Series INDYCAR
Tags barber motorsports park, dixon, franchitti, ganassi, honda