Franchitti leads team at Mid-Ohio with podium finish

It marked the first time that Team Target has been out of victory lane at Mid-Ohio since 2008.

LEXINGTON, Ohio – Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR) drivers Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon finished third and seventh, respectively, at the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Round 14 of the IZOD IndyCar Series.

Dixon qualified the No. 9 Target Honda third as he looked to extend his record tally of four victories at Mid-Ohio. The team maintained third position all the way through the first stint before pitting from that position on lap 30 of the 90-lap event. By lap 43 Dixon was running in fifth position and on lap 49 the team made their second stop of the day.

Scott Dixon, Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
Scott Dixon, Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Photo by: Jay Alley

With 26 laps to go Dixon was running seventh and three laps later pit for the third and final time. The race ended up running caution-free – marking the first time a race had gone without a yellow flag since Mid-Ohio 2012 – and the No. 9 team would come home with a seventh-place finish.

Franchitti qualified the No. 10 GE Honda sixth and by lap four had overtaken the No. 25 car for fifth. By lap 19 he had moved up to fourth and the team pit for the first time on lap 30 from that position. On lap 43 Franchitti ran sixth in the order and then pit for the second time on lap 46. With 21 laps remaining the team pit for the final time from third, where they would ultimately finish.

With the results, Dixon remains second in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings with 422 markers, -31 points behind leader Helio Castroneves. Franchitti is seventh with 342 markers, -111 points back.

With Honda teams posting a one-two-three finish at Mid-Ohio, they are now tied with Chevrolet in the manufacturer point standings (105 points).

Up next, Target Chip Ganassi Racing will compete in Round 15 of the IZOD IndyCar Series with the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma in Sonoma, California, on Sunday, August 25 (4:00pm ET on NBC Sports Network).

Scott Dixon: “We kind of stuck with the two-stop strategy for too long. Typically, it’s okay, but with Will Power it was just so inconsistent. One lap was a half-second slower, and then he sped up. It was like a yo-yo. Charlie made the exact right move, because that pace was too slow.

I think if we were running up front in the clean air we would have been able to hit the times we needed to keep the distance, but they just couldn’t keep that pace. That put us on a hold and we were in the second or third stint as well and we just dug a deeper hole. So, from that point on we were just trying to get ourselves out of it, but at that part of the race it was just too late.”

Dario Franchitti: “Charlie had just a beautiful race. Congratulations to him – that was pretty sweet. We just went a little too late swapping to that three-stop strategy. It was a good call and a brave call to switch when we did.

The GE car was fast. It could’ve been worse, it could’ve been better. It was a tough day with no yellows and very physical out there. Not a bad day, we’ll just keep pushing and try to get that first win.”

Chip Ganassi Racing

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Chip Ganassi , Will Power
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing
Article type Race report
Tags chip ganassi racing, dixon, franchitti, indycar, mid-ohio