TARGET TEAM WINS AT INFINEON AND TAKES INDYCAR CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD Sonoma, California (Sunday, Aug. 26)- Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon wrangled away the Championship points lead from pole sitter Dario Franchitti by overtaking him on a...
TARGET TEAM WINS AT INFINEON AND TAKES INDYCAR CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD
Sonoma, California (Sunday, Aug. 26)- Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon wrangled away the Championship points lead from pole sitter Dario Franchitti by overtaking him on a restart with just seven laps left in the Motorola Indy 300 presented by Jackson Rancheria, then beating the hard charging Helio Castroneves to the checkered flag by 0.5449 of a second for the closest margin in three years of IndyCar Series racing on a road or street course.
The victory at Infineon Raceway is the Target team's 16th IndyCar series win, Dixon's tenth IndyCar win, and his fourth of the year, marking his best career total in a season to date. It also completes Dixon's domination of road courses this season after earlier wins at Watkins Glen and Mid-Ohio.
With just two IndyCar races remaining, the driver of the no.9 Target Honda Dallara regains the IndyCar championship lead by four points (560 points) over rival Franchitti (556 points) who finished third but led the most laps for three bonus points. Franchitti's teammate, Tony Kanaan, finished the race fourth and has 498 points in the battle for the series crown. Target teammate, Dan Wheldon started 10th and finished a respectable seventh, and remains fourth in the standings with 414 points. Sam Hornish Jr. (409 points) rounds out the top five.
The Target team now prepares for a street fight at the Belle Isle Detroit Indy Grand Prix this coming weekend before the season finale takes the IndyCar Series to the 1.5 mile oval at Chicagoland.
TARGET CHIP GANASSI RACING QUOTEBOARD
Scott Dixon: "This is exactly what we needed. It was a tough day and a tough weekend to be honest. We're still having problem with the Dallara car. It's the first year we've used it (on road courses) and it's been tough, especially in qualifying where we qualified fifth. AGR played it tough today. We had to deal with TK (Tony Kanaan) holding us up a lot and trying to build a gap for Dario (Franchitti). It's fantastic for us with the points and it's another race win this year is what we wanted." (About passing Franchitti for the lead): "What goes around comes around. They were playing tactics and it seemed ironic that both of their cars got in an accident. It ended up ruining (Dario's) day. I think our car was better on restarts, so we may have had the upper hand there. I don't think his front wing would have mattered in that. But it doesn't matter now. We won the race. That's what matters."
Dan Wheldon: "First and foremost I'm really happy for Scott (Dixon) and everybody on the no.9 Target car for getting back into the championship lead. It's great for the Target team. The no.10 Target car was definitely reasonable. There is some stuff I can still improve on personally in the set up. For the most part it was a good day but the result could have been a bit better as on the restart, I miscalculated where Buddy (Rice) was and lost a couple of positions but it was a good day for the Target team.