Dixon Fifth, Franchitti 12th in 100th Anniversary Edition of Indianapolis 500

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver Scott Dixon lined-up second on the grid, took the lead at the start of the race and led a race-high 73 laps en route to a fifth-place finish. Dario Franchitti started ninth, led 51 laps and finished 12th. The race marked the fourth-straight year a Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver had led the most laps of the race.

Restart: Dario Franchitti, Target Chip Ganassi Racing leads the field
Restart: Dario Franchitti, Target Chip Ganassi Racing leads the field

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

Team Target ran first and second for the majority of the 200-lap race, trading the top position and battling for the lead until the final round of pit stops played out over the final 40 laps.

After his final pit stop on lap 164 from the lead, Franchitti made it to lap 199 before a splash of fuel was needed to complete the 500-mile distance – resulting in a 12th-place finish. Dixon led in the late goings as well (172-178), made his final pit stop on lap 179, but did not have enough to make it to the finish.

With the results, Franchitti remains second in the IZOD IndyCar Series championship standings with 178 points, 16 points behind leader Will Power. Dixon moved up three positions from eighth to fifth with 129 markers.

Up next for Team Target is Round 6 of the IZOD IndyCar Series at Texas Motor Speedway for the Firestone Twin 275s Saturday, June 11th (8:00 p.m. ET, VERSUS).

NOTES

- The top lap leader of the 2011 Indianapolis 500 was Dixon with 73 laps led. Dixon was also the top lap leader in 2008 (115 laps led) and 2009 (73 laps led)

- Franchitti now ranks 15th on the all-time Indianapolis 500 lap leader list with 306 laps led

- Dixon now ranks 19th on the all-time Indianapolis 500 lap leader list with 293 laps led

- Franchitti had the fastest lap of the race at 224.667 mph ( 40.0593 sec) on lap 169

- Dixon had the fastest lap leading the race at 223.672 mph ( 40.2375 sec) on lap 172

TCGR Quoteboard:

Dario Franchitti: "I thought our Target car was as good as anything out there today. The engineers made good calls fixing the balance of the car. The mechanics and the pit stops were fantastic. I'm proud of the Target team for the job they did today. And as sad and disgusted as I feel right now, I have to say congratulations to my old teammates, Dan Wheldon and Bryan Herta. That's pretty cool. As sad as I feel right now, there's still a little smile in there for those boys. And I will say, it's going to be one hell of a party tonight. But I feel really bad for my team. I feel bad for myself right now, and I feel bad for Scott. It's a good race, sad end. I'm disappointed with the result. I don't second-guess these guys. I only have a very narrow view of what's going on. They have the big picture. These guys have won me a lot of races and some championships, and I don't second-guess them.”

Pit stop for Scott Dixon, Target Chip Ganassi Racing
Pit stop for Scott Dixon, Target Chip Ganassi Racing

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

Scott Dixon: "I think between Dario and myself we had this race covered. We were in similar circumstances. I'm not sure how the No.4 car was able to get that far on fuel. It’s just frustrating, and I was frustrated with the restarts overall. The Target car was good to start with but then we started burning the left front tire off. We made changes to it in the end and that seemed to help. Dario was on a different strategy than us and it didn't work for either of us today."

Mike Hull (Managing Director): “First, Congratulations to Dan Wheldon and Brian Herta. Good things happened today to good people. They were strong in qualifying, and through the entire race which is how you win the Indy 500. As far as the Target car for Scott Dixon – we simply had a fuel error as we missed by one gallon. It wasn’t a matter of gambling or being cute as we pitted with twenty laps to go and thought that there was enough fuel for a shoot-out at the end . We’re not sure exactly what happened in the fueling process, but we already started looking into it. Scott had a great race car, and he was doing his job to the best of his ability. Personally, I am very disappointed that we didn’t take advantage of how hard Scott worked to be at the front at the end. On the 10 car side with Dario Franchitti , the team pitted on the same lap as last year when they won the race. Dario’s group employed a proven strategy on the 10 car that gave them the best chance to win. Winning at Indy means everything to our Target group, and anything short of that is tough to accept.”

-source: cgr