Kentucky: Chip Ganassi Racing preview

Thoughts on Kentucky with TCGR Managing Director Mike Hull: "It's great to be back racing on a high speed oval that is very technical due to working hard to get it right over the humps and bumps that the track has -- the driver needs to work with...

Thoughts on Kentucky with TCGR Managing Director Mike Hull: "It's great to be back racing on a high speed oval that is very technical due to working hard to get it right over the humps and bumps that the track has -- the driver needs to work with his team to find the smoothest route with a race set-up that keeps the car under him throughout the night as the track grip level changes. Our Target guys have won at Kentucky due to having the fastest car combined with good stops while running full rich. It's not a fuel mixture race, it's a race track that requires you to race in a full out manner to win, and that's fun. With the aerodynamic parts that finally have been given back to us by the IRL, it should help to provide better racing, and more importantly gives the platform for a true two-groove oval. It's high speed, and in the first person, the demonstrated speed is impressive."

Dario, Scott, Scott Dario: Last weekend at Edmonton, Dixon (finished third) took over first place in the IndyCar Series point's race, with Franchitti (finished fifth) dropping to second. It was the fourth consecutive weekend the Target drivers swapped the points lead, and the seventh race of the season that either Dixon or Franchitti have been atop of the IRL standings.

TCGR at Kentucky: Dixon won for team in 2008 after TCGR had finished second in 2003, 2006 and 2007. TCGR has seven top-5 finishes and has led 243 laps since their first race at the track in 2002 with Jeff Ward.

Scott Dixon and the No. 9 Target Team

Oh What Finish! - Kentucky Rewind: Dixon started from pole, led 151 of 200 laps and made a last lap pass of Helio Castroneves to win at Kentucky Speedway in 2008. Dixon's win marked his sixth on the IndyCar Series season, tying the record for most wins in a year held by former teammate Wheldon from 2005. The Kiwi extended his lead in the championship standings from 65 to 78 over Castroneves with three races remaining on his way to a second IRL title. The dramatic ending to the race saw Dixon close in on Castroneves over the final two laps, finally catching and passing the Penske driver who ran out of fuel in the final turn.

Dixon on Last Year's Race: "What a day. I think we tried to play it kind of safe and just be conservative. Even in traffic we really didn't rush things. The car was fantastic. We didn't have as much speed, actually, as we thought we did, especially in practice and qualifying. The car was super fast. We had a couple of guys that definitely sped up, with (Vitor) Meira and Marco (Andretti) toward the end, their cars were very fast. It was strategy in the end, it was crazy. There was no way we were going to catch him. He was half the track ahead of us. I knew our car was probably quicker than his, but not 20 miles per hour faster. It was nice to get it the way we did. I think about the run that Dario (Franchitti) had for the championship in 2007, and it's nice to be able to be in that position after how we lost it last year."

Last Week: Dixon finished third at Edmonton, his seventh consecutive top-five finish.

On the verge: Dixon's win in Richmond still has him tied with Sam Hornish Jr. for the most wins in IndyCar Series history with 19. A repeat victory this weekend in Kentucky would give him a 20th win and sole position of the IRL record.

Points: 1st in points with 380, +3 over Franchitti.

Dario Franchitti and the No. 10 Target Team

Target Paint Scheme: Kentucky marks the return of two Target paint schemes for the No.9 and 10 cars.

Last Time at Kentucky: Dario missed the 2008 race in Sparta while competing in NASCAR. In 2007, his car left the racing surface after making contact with another car for the second consecutive race -- within six days. Aug. 5 at Michigan International Speedway, Franchitti walked away uninjured from a spectacular crash on the backstretch after touching wheels with the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car driven by Dan Wheldon on Lap 143 of 200. At Kentucky Speedway, Franchitti ran up/over the rear of the No. 55 car of Kosuke Matsuura after the checkered flag. "That one was completely my fault; there's no excuse," said Franchitti. "I didn't realize it was the checkered. I got the 'Hey, it's a checkered' just as I was hitting him."

Points: 2nd in points with 377, -3 to leader Dixon.

-credit: cgr

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jeff Ward , Helio Castroneves , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Dan Wheldon , Kosuke Matsuura , Chip Ganassi , Mike Hull
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing