Scott Dixon will be looking to set an IndyCar Series record at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday by earning his fourth consecutive victory. Dixon won at Watkins Glen, Nashville and Mid-Ohio, trimming 41 points from Dario Franchitti's lead...
Scott Dixon will be looking to set an IndyCar Series record at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday by earning his fourth consecutive victory. Dixon won at Watkins Glen, Nashville and Mid-Ohio, trimming 41 points from Dario Franchitti's lead in the championship standings.
Franchitti, who won the Indianapolis 500 in May, also visited victory lane at Iowa and Richmond in June. He currently leads Dixon by 24 points with five races remaining.
The IndyCar Series comes to Michigan after taking a well deserved weekend off. The weekend off was preceded by five weeks of racing that saw Dixon win three and Franchitti two. Dixon's worst finish during the five week stretch was a tenth place at Iowa while Franchitti's worst was a third place at Watkins Glen. He was the runner up at Nashville and Mid-Ohio.
"It's been nice to have a week off," said Dixon. "The five‑on‑the‑road definitely took a toll. But it was nice to win three of those five races and get a bit of a roll going and try to close the points gap to Dario. He definitely had a healthy lead, 65 points. We managed to get it down to 24. It's unfortunate we've won and he's still on the podium. So he's made it tough."
Last year at Michigan, Dixon was running second to teammate and race leader Dan Wheldon on lap 43 just before the first pitstop when the caution flag came out. As the pits opened and the two Target cars were making their way in, the No. 9 Target Honda ran out of fuel on the backstretch. After being towed to the pits, Dixon found himself two laps down and out of contention.
"The thing we have to focus on is just trying to make sure we can have the car that runs to the end, and we don't get too aggressive on fuel again and run out," Dixon said. We need to "take it a little cautious at this race because it's one that can definitely hurt you a lot in points if you try and string it out."
Franchitti fought an ill-handling car at MIS last year, described by team manager John Anderson as "diabolical," to finish 12th. His worst finish this year came at the Homestead season opener where he finished 7th. He's yet to finish outside the top 5 since Homestead, a feat he'll need to continue with Dixon on a hot streak.
Downtown Jackson, Michigan will host a street party tonight, one of the festivities surrounding this weekend's Firestone Indy 400 at Michigan International Speedway. IndyCar Series drivers are scheduled to sign autographs on Michigan Avenue from 5-6:00 p.m.
Jackson's Friday Night Street Party will also feature go-kart racing and a car show, which is scheduled to get underway at 4:30 p.m.
The two day event at MIS has the IndyCar Series on track with two practice sessions on Saturday followed by qualifying at 4:30 pm. Sunday's race starts at noon.