BALTIMORE, Md. (September 2, 2012) – Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR) drivers Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti finished fourth and 13th, respectively, in Sunday’s Baltimore Grand Pix. With one event remaining on the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series calendar, Dixon is still mathematically eligible for the 2012 Championship. He remains fourth (-53 points) behind leader Will Power. Franchitti stands-120 markers back in ninth position.
Team Target began Sunday’s Grand Prix of Baltimore in the second (Dixon) and fourth (Franchitti) starting positions, after both cars managed to get to the final segment of Firestone Fast Six qualifying. The green flag dropped and Dixon tried working his way to the polesitter, Power. He slipped back one spot but held onto third place until the first caution flag of the 75-lap race was displayed on lap 7.
Dixon pitted on lap 22 to change to rain tires and get fuel as course conditions drastically changed due to weather. He emerged 18th and moved up two positions until the course saw another yellow flag. After several restarts for accidents, Dixon continued to work his way up through the field with great fuel mileage and into the top-five, where he finished fourth.
Franchitti rolled off fourth and was quickly gaining ground until the No. 10 Lexar Honda spun to a stop on lap 21 after the car was clipped by the No.78 car, causing a full-course caution. On lap 39, the team was forced to make an unscheduled stop to repair the radio. Franchitti was gaining ground and was in contention for a top-five finish until the car saw contact again on lap 69 which dropped him back from sixth to 13th. The No.10 car ran out of fuel on the last lap and finished 13th.
Scott Dixon: “It was a tough day. We missed a little bit on picking the wets and the slicks and that kind of cross over. It seemed about three or four of the guys worked that out. I guess it’s luck really, whether it’s going to rain or not. Then we went off strategy big-time at the end there. We pitted really early and had to save a lot of fuel on black tires. It’s probably one of the hardest stints I’ve had all year, to try and get speed and try to save fuel. It was a crazy finish there.”
Dario Franchitti: “Very disappointing race for us. We ran out of fuel at the end. INDYCAR officials need to take a look at what is and what isn't acceptable. This is becoming a full-contact sport.”
Source: Chip Ganassi Racing