Franchitti Wins Third Indianapolis 500, Dixon Finishes Second
Target Drivers Finish One-Two While Celebrating Target’s 50th Anniversary
INDIANAPOLIS (May 28, 2012) – Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR) driver Dario Franchitti led 23 laps en route to his third victory in the Indianapolis 500 and the 31st win of his career, while Target Teammate Scott Dixon joined Franchitti on the podium with his third second-place finish of the season.
Franchitti lined up 16th on the grid for the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500. By the first caution on lap 14, Franchitti worked his way up to 13th. As he came down pit road for his first pit stop, his No. 50 car was spun by another competitor and Franchitti was knocked into the pit-wall, requiring the crew to replace the front nose. He would return to the track 28th. A strong car and excellent fuel-mileage helped Franchitti work his way up to ninth by the time he made his second pit stop on lap 54. Franchitti continued his move to the front, running in the top-three for the remainder of the race, with the No. 50 and No. 9 swapping the lead amongst one another. Franchitti would take the lead for the final time on lap 198 to earn his third victory in the Indianapolis 500.
Dixon rolled off 15th in his 10th Indianapolis 500 start. When the first caution flag waved on lap 14, the No. 9 had jumped to 11th. On a lap 19 restart, Dixon advanced up to seventh and continued his march to the front of the field, taking the lead on lap 75. As the race saw multiple rounds of green-flag stops, field-leading fuel-mileage and strong pit stops by the winning pit crew in the pit stop competition, kept Dixon in the top-two. Dixon and Franchitti would swap the lead back and forth for the rest of the race, with Dixon finally coming to the line in second.
With the results, Dixon moves up two spots to fourth in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings with 153 points, 47 points behind leader Will Power. Franchitti improves to sixth in the standings with 136 points.
Honda remains second in the manufacturer point standings with 33, trailing Chevrolet by 9. Lotus is third with 20.
Dario Franchitti: “I just want to dedicate this two of Indianapolis’ finest, Dan Wheldon and Michael Wanser. Thank you to all the fans for supporting our buddy Dan today. What a race, what a race. I think D-dub (Wheldon) would be proud of that one. Thank you to this Target Team and my buddy Scott Dixon. I was looking at the pylon and I was thinking ‘I don’t know who is going to win it’, but everybody up there was a friend of Dan’s and I think that about sums it up, everybody loved Dan. I’ve got to say thank you to Honda as well, we had a really tough qualifying and these guys worked so hard. Every IndyCar race I’ve won has been with Honda. This means the world, this is Indianapolis, man, three times. To get to be on the trophy beside Dan that’s more important than anything. The last week I’ve been studying Johnny Rutherford’s book, he said he hoped to welcome me to the three-time club. To be in the company of guys like that means so much. What a great race today. I can’t say enough about this Target team and the adversity they’ve been through.”
Scott Dixon: “It was pretty close and (Dario Franchitti and Takuma Sato) got a run on me into (Turn) 1 there. Sato was definitely a guy throwing it in there all day and he tried to do the same thing to Dario. I thought we were going to get really lucky because they touched and I thought they were both going to end up in the fence. Credit to Dario. He had a bad start to the day and came through the field. It’s a 1-2 finish for Target on their 50th anniversary. You couldn’t have it a better way.”