"I still can’t believe we’ve won the championship. It’s fantastic!"
Fontana, Calif. (Oct. 19, 2013) – Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR) driver Scott Dixon finished fifth in the MAVTV 500, piloting the No. 9 Target Honda to win the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series championship. This is the third title of his Indy car racing career, tying teammate Dario Franchitti’s three championships for the most all-time championships in the Target Race Program. The championship was also TCGR’s 10th overall in Indy car racing and the 17th for Chip Ganassi Racing Teams. Target teammate Alex Tagliani finished the race 14th.
Tagliani qualified the No. 10 Target Honda 13th, but was assessed a 10-spot grid penalty for an engine change and began the race from the 21st starting position. This was a minor setback for Tagliani, as he powered his way into 16th by lap five. On lap 39, the No. 10 team entered pit road for its first green-flag pit stop of the day. Tagliani maintained his position in 16th until the competition’s first caution on lap 71. He then came in for his second pit stop on lap 72 and gained two positions on pit road, enabling him to restart in 14th on lap 82. He continued to consistently hold position in the top-10 before the competition’s second caution occurred on lap 101. On the ensuing restart on lap 109, Tagliani moved his way through the pack and settled into third on lap 110 before taking the lead on lap 128. He continued to battle in the top-five, when the competition’s fourth caution occurred on lap 190. The No. 10 team ended their day on lap 210, as Tagliani spun and made contact with the wall, bringing out the fifth caution of the day, which led to a 14th-place finish.
With the results in Fontana, Dixon finished first in the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series championship point standings with 577 points, 27 points ahead of second-place Helio Castroneves. Franchitti finished 10th with 418 points (-159 points behind) and Tagliani finished 24th with 180 points (-377 points behind).
Notes: - -This championship is Dixon’s third in Indy car racing (2003, 2008 and 2013).
- -Dixon becomes the 12th driver in Indy car history to win three or more championships (Dario Franchitti, Mario Andretti, Sebastien Bourdais, AJ Foyt, Rick Mears, Bobby Rahal, Louis Meyer, Ted Horn, Jimmy Bryan, Al Unser and Sam Hornish Jr.).
- -Dixon’s third championship with Team Target ties teammate Dario Franchitti’s three championships with Team Target. The duo now holds the most championships for the team.
- -This championship comes in Dixon’s 12th year with TCGR.
- -This marks the fifth championship for TCGR in six years (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013).
- -This championship is TCGR’s 10th in Indy car competition (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013).
- -This championship is the 17th overall for Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (Indy car-10 and GRAND-AM–seven).
Chip Ganassi: “We were down and we were behind. I’ve got to hand it to Honda. They stepped up. When it was time to make a move, they made the move and helped us win the driver’s championship. No question. We couldn’t have done that win without them. It’s that simple.”
Scott Dixon: “It was a crazy day. We started back. The car we had to work on a fair bit through the race. It was just a huge credit to Team Target. They played everything straight tonight. We had to work on a bit of strategy, we had to work on the car a lot, and then we had an issue with some overheating problems towards the end. I still can’t believe we’ve won the championship. It’s fantastic. So many people to thank and it’s just unbelievable.”