Franchitti Finishes Fifth, Dixon 17th in Brazil
SAO PAULO (April 29, 2012) – Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR) driver Dario Franchitti earned his first top-five of the season with a fifth-place finish in the Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 from the Streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Target teammate Scott Dixon crossed the finish line 17th.
Franchitti started the race second in the No.10 Lexar Honda and remained there prior to his first stop of the day on lap 21 of the 75-lap race, where the team made a front wing adjustment. Franchitti came to the line for a lap 27 restart in second, until contact from behind resulted in a reverse spin, which brought out another caution. The team would pit under the caution, returning to the race 22nd, the last car on the lead-lap. The team worked their way back into the top-five and Franchitti finished fifth, his highest finish of the first four races this season.
Dixon started third and completed the opening 19 laps there before making his first stop of the day. The No. 9 Target Honda continued in the top-four until pitting for the second time on lap 46. As green flag pit stops cycled through, Dixon inherited the lead on lap 55 and remained on point until an ill-timed caution on lap 63 forced him to pit road under the yellow for a fuel-only stop. A wild restart on lap 67 required Dixon to stop as cars in front of him completely blocked the course. He would pit for tires on lap 71, dropping him to 18th. The No. 9 team gained one position in the closing laps to finish 17th.
With the results, Dixon dropped to sixth in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings with 109 points, 71 points behind leader Will Power. Franchitti improved three positions, up to 10th in the standings with 82 points.
Honda remains second in the manufacturer point standings with 24, trailing Chevrolet by 12. Lotus is third with 16 points.
Up next for Team Target is Round 5 of the IZOD IndyCar Series with the Indianapolis 500 from Indianapolis on Sunday, May 27 (12:00 pm ET on ABC).
TCGR Quoteboard: Dario Franchitti: “Our Lexar car was very fast and we were pretty quick out there. We got hit on that restart and spun out but we kept fighting and it was a great job by the Target boys on pit lane. It just didn't work out today. We were up there and didn't get the mileage we needed. We almost got back up to the front but the last two restarts weren't the best for us.”
Scott Dixon: “I guess that just wasn't our day. The Target car definitely had some speed but we just couldn't put it all together.”