Dixon Third, Franchitti 20th at the Magic Mile
LOUDON, N.H. (August 14, 2011) – Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR) driver Scott Dixon came home third in the MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon in Round 13 of the IZOD IndyCar Series, while TCGR teammate Dario Franchitti finished 20th.
Dixon started the race seventh and ran inside the top-10 throughout the first stint of the race. He then moved into the top-five for the first time prior to a lap 111 caution. Following a restart on lap 119, Dixon drove into the top-three, and after the final round of pit stops cycled through, found himself third battling with Oriol Servia for second. In the end, he maintained his place inside the top-three in the rain-shortened (215 of 225 laps) event in third, giving him his seventh podium of the year.
The finish order was set based on the Lap 215 running order under caution -- before a Lap 217 restart that went awry because of a slick racing surface.
Franchitti started the afternoon from the pole and kept the No. 10 Nikon Honda out front for much of the first half of the race. From the drop of the green, he ran away from the field, moving out to a sizable lead prior to green flag stops. He led for 115 of the opening 119 laps until an on-track incident during a restart sent him to garage with damage for the remainder of the race. He would be scored in the 20th position.
Franchitti, who earned the three bonus points for the pole and leading the most race laps, had been running at the finish in 43 consecutive races.
Franchitti now has a 47-point lead over Will Power in the IZOD IndyCar Series standings with 443 points. Dixon remains third in the standings, 73 points behind Franchitti.
Scott Dixon: “It’s been a good couple of weeks for Team Target. Today we just stayed out of trouble and we brought ourselves back into hunting ground for the championship. It was just one of those days where we tried to do the best we can with what we had.”
Dario Franchitti: “[Takuma] Sato kept coming up and I don’t know what he was going to do. He had a very clear view of where I was and he kept coming up. We had a good race car overall and we were strong all weekend in the Nikon car. It is really unfortunate for Team Target. He started coming up into me before the restart. I really don’t know what he was thinking.”