LONG BEACH, Calif. – Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR) drivers Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon finished fourth and 11th, respectively in Round 3 of the IZOD IndyCar Series at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Franchitti started on pole position for the second year in a row at Long Beach, and the No. 10 car got the jump and made it cleanly through turn 1 of the 1.968-mile circuit.
On lap 35, the team had moved up to second before an accident in turn 1 brought out a yellow. With 37 laps to go, they made their second stop on lap 52 from fourth. While running in third after a lap 55 restart, Franchitti had to avoid a lapped car going for position and slid one spot to fourth, where he would ultimately finish.
Dixon started in 26th after a brake problem caused a spin in qualifying, and was hit from behind in the opening lap which resulted in an early pit to address a flat right-rear tire.
The No. 9 team left the pit and resumed the race in 26th, one lap down the leader. On lap 32, Dixon pitted for the second time, and shortly after, came out on the lead lap.
With 37 laps to go, Dixon moved up to 18th and pitted for the final time on lap 51. By lap 59 he had driven his way up to 12th position. The No. 9 team managed to pick off one more car to finish 11th.
Honda is second in the manufacturer point standings with 21 points, trailing Chevrolet with 24.
Up next for Team Target is Round 4 of the IZOD IndyCar Series with the Sao Paulo Indy 300 from the Streets of Sao Paulo Brazil on Sunday, May 5th, 2013 (11:00 am ET NBC Sports).
Dario Franchitti: “We were pretty good for that first stint. We just had a bad pit stop. We dropped the car with three wheels on the wagon I think so that cost us a few good spots. And then I lost one there to Justin (Wilson) trying to avoid Charlie (Kimball) who was a lap down and going for position.
At the end I think we were fairly evenly matched, it’s just that we chose to save fuel that last bit. The loss of track position wasn’t enough to catch Justin. It was a good result for the Target team after those first couple DNFs.”
Scott Dixon: “Unfortunately, it was just another day in a bad weekend for us here. We were taken out by Vautier on lap 1 which resulted in a flat tire for us. We had to come in for a front wing as well when we pit, and lost a lap.
So we missed out on the strategy that got the other guys around us into the top five. I think we had some damage as a result of the accident and we did the best we could with what we had.
We also had some issues with our top gear limit and it held us back a bit in the kink from really making a run at anybody.”
Target Chip Ganassi Racing