NEWTON, Iowa – Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR) drivers Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti finished 16th and 20th, respectively in Round 10 of the IZOD IndyCar Series in the Iowa Corn 250 at Iowa Speedway.
With a first-place finish in the first Heat Qualifying Race and a fifth-place finish in the final Heat Race, Dixon started the race 15th in the No. 9 Target Honda on the 7/8-mile oval. From the green flag Dixon drove consistently and held his ground in 15th. As the first caution fell on lap 40 of 250, the No. 9 car took to pit lane and gained five spots upon his return to the course.
With 98 laps to go, Dixon moved to fifth before a third caution was called for debris on lap 152. The No. 9 car faded toward the back of the pack in 12th, due to a misfire in the engine on lap 191. The team limped home as a result of the issue to finish 16th.
With a ninth-place finish in the first Heat Qualifying Race, Franchitti started the race on the inside of the 11th row qualifying the No. 10 Glad Honda 21st. On lap 25 of 250, Franchitti moved his way up to 19th and held his ground. The first caution was called on lap 40 and the No. 10 car took the opportunity to pit with the rest of the field.
The No. 10 team had made good ground through lap 53 having passed seven cars to 14th. On lap 95, Franchitti struggled with the car and reported he felt loose in traffic and tried to stiffen the front bar in the car and dropped to 17th. The No. 10 car pit on lap 121 for a front wing adjustment and returned to the course one lap down and in 22nd.
On a lap 149 restart, Franchitti moved to 21st, two laps down to the leaders. After another restart on lap 179, Franchitti passed another car to finish 20th.
With the results, Dixon moved to seventh in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings with 240 markers, -92 points behind leader Helio Castroneves. Franchitti moved to 12th with 202 markers, -130 points back.
Honda is second in the manufacturer point standings with 69 points, trailing Chevrolet with 81.
Up next for Team Target is Round 11 of the IZOD IndyCar Series with the Pocono INDYCAR 400 from Long Pond, Pa. on Sunday, July 7 (12:00 pm ET, ABC).
Scott Dixon: “We had what I thought was a pretty good car today. From where we started we were able to move up and contend midway through the race. Unfortunately we encountered a misfire when we were in the top five after a restart and then just gradually faded back outside the top 10. We lost power at the end and will have to take a look and see what happened. It was a tough day for the Target team at Iowa."
Dario Franchitti: “We suffered from very little mechanical grip when we got in traffic and were still a ways off where we needed to be setup wise. We won the heat race here last year and this year we finished last in it. We’re not adapting to the tires and we are struggling a bit. We went back a couple steps and moved a couple steps towards Scott and his setup before the race.
It definitely was better than the heat races, but nowhere close to where we need to be. I was having to lift out of the throttle for both oversteer and understeer almost every lap, and when you can’t keep your momentum up on a short oval, it’s going to be a long day. We will keep working and hopefully will have some progress to show for in Pocono.”
Chip Ganassi Racing