Managing Director Mike Hull on Long Beach: “The Long Beach Grand Prix has enormous Open Wheel equity – the winners of this race in F1, CART, and IndyCar represent the very best. The locals refer to it as the “race.” For us, it’s a Big Race to Win. All of our people are very energized to be recognized in Long Beach. Over the years, the race track configuration has been changed to match the downtown planners aggressive growth, but the common denominator continues to be curbs, concrete, and uneven surface. It truly represents a technical driver who finds the quickest route. Watch closely, as it isn’t always conventional. Our Target team winners include: Vasser, Zanardi, Montoya, and Franchitti for five wins. What can you say, except, they have represented our Target Team, and Open Wheel Racing as Major Champions. It would be special to be first on Sunday with either Scott or Dario.”
Dario Franchitti and the No. 10 Target Team
Comfort Zone: With a total of eight starts at Long Beach, Franchitti has three top-fives and five top-10s, including two back-to-back podium finishes in 1998 and 1999. Franchitti’s win at this track was in 2009 where he started on pole.
One of Dario’s Favorites: “The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is a big one for me because it’s one of the places I went when I came to the U.S. for the first time. Whether or not you’re a fan of Indy cars, if you come to Long Beach you’re not just standing there watching the race, it’s about coming to be entertained for the weekend.”
Barber Recap: Franchitti started the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama in seventh and worked his way up into the top-five by lap 10. After a caution on lap 36, Franchitti made a pass on the No. 6 car for third position. He kept a spot in the top-three for the remainder of the race and went on to finish third.
Catching Up with Johnny Rutherford: Franchitti spent time with legend, Johnny Rutherford, at Barber Motorsports Park during the race weekend. Rutherford drove the pace car for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. Franchitti is currently 10th on the all-time Indy car win list, tying Johnny Rutherford with 27 wins.
Johnny Rutherford is a legend and friend of mine.
Franchitti on Johnny Rutherford: "It was a terrific honor to spend time with Johnny Rutherford; we're blessed to have so many stars from the past with us every weekend. Johnny Rutherford is a legend and friend of mine."
Scott Dixon and the No. 9 Target Team
Barber Recap: Dixon started the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama in third position and ran as high as second over the 90-lap race. He recorded the fastest lap of the event on lap 73 with a time of 73.866 seconds en route to a second-place finish behind race winner Will Power.
Start One, End One: Out of his 57 career podium finishes, 17 poles and 25 wins, Dixon has won from the pole seven times (2003, 2007, four times in 2008, and 2009).
Points Jump: Dixon jumped from 16th to fourth in the standings with his runner-up finish at Barber Motorsports Park. In 2009, Dixon jumped from 17th to fourth after Long Beach leading into Kansas, which is the largest points jump in Dixon’s career.