Dixon Extends IndyCar Point Lead with Victory in Texas FORT WORTH, Texas (June 8, 2008)-Target Chip Ganassi Racing's (TCGR) Scott Dixon started from pole, led 58 of 228 laps and claimed his third win of the season at Texas Motor Speedway...
Dixon Extends IndyCar Point Lead with Victory in Texas
FORT WORTH, Texas (June 8, 2008)-Target Chip Ganassi Racing's (TCGR) Scott Dixon started from pole, led 58 of 228 laps and claimed his third win of the season at Texas Motor Speedway Saturday night. The race ended under caution after Marco Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay made contact while battling behind Dixon for second place with five laps remaining. Teammate Dan Wheldon rebounded from a practice accident in the No.10 Polaroid car, made up seven positions on a sore ankle and finished fourth.
Dixon was a contender from the drop of the green flag in the No.9 Target car, running in the top-three for the majority of the event. Flawless pit work again was the theme for the Target team as Dixon was able to stay out front and survive eight caution periods for 52 laps. The turning point of the race came when he passed Andretti on lap 222 -- just before Andretti and Hunter-Reay tangled and brought the race to its conclusion under the yellow flag.
Wheldon's weekend started with a practice crash on Friday which sent him into the turn four wall and eliminated the No.10 team's primary car. The team rallied to prepare the backup car for qualifying and Wheldon came from the infield care center to qualify the car 11th. Wheldon had moved up to fourth by just lap 11 but had to restart near the rear of the field after Ryan Briscoe stopped in his pit stall under yellow. Briscoe would serve a penalty for the incident and Wheldon managed to rebound up through the field to finish fourth.
Earlier on Saturday before Dixon's win in Texas, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) teammates Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas won the Rolex Sports Car Series race at Watkins Glen, giving Chip Ganassi Racing Teams. Inc. it's 96th and 97th victories. It was the second time this season the teams have won on the same day, and marked the 60th open wheel win for TCGR. Combined, the Indianapolis based operation has won 8 of 12 races entered in 2008 between the two series, including the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the Indianapolis 500.
The No.9 team extended their lead in the IndyCar Series championship from 28 to 35 with 284 points over Helio Castroneves. Wheldon retained third place in the title race with 217 points (-67). Up next for the Target team is the Iowa Corn Indy 250 on June 22 at Iowa Speedway (1 p.m. EDT, ABC).
Scott Dixon: "I can't believe it. It's great for the team and great for Target. We just want to win this championship. I'm sorry to see it end under caution, but it's a great way to get some points for this championship. Dan (Wheldon) did a great job coming from the back, and I saw him looming there for a little while. I don't know what to say. We finally won at Texas, and I'm pretty happy about that. Mike Hull and (engineers) Eric (Bretzman) and Brian (Welling) did a good job getting me to aim for a fuel number. I had to be very close to the end, but so was everyone else. I think we would have been on the edge, but I think we would have been all right if it went green to the end."
Dan Wheldon: "Very good results for everybody at Target Chip Ganassi Racing. Obviously, Scott (Dixon) is on a tear right now. Unfortunately I wasn't able to run the Polaroid car, but that's the way it goes. I want to say thank you to the (Delphi) Safety Team for the job they did this weekend. They were pretty busy. It was a little inconsistent for me, but that's part of racing. We came out with a top-five. It still didn't go my way, but we'll work on that."