Homestead: Chip Ganassi Racing preview

Managing Director Mike Hull on Homestead: "Teamwork is defined as team members who unselfishly support each other with a common goal -- the amazing thing about that statement is that it defines Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon as they have given...

Managing Director Mike Hull on Homestead: "Teamwork is defined as team members who unselfishly support each other with a common goal -- the amazing thing about that statement is that it defines Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon as they have given to each other without personal agenda from the very first 2009 Indy Car Open Test. That test was at Homestead, so we have come full circle. The Homestead 1.5 mile oval represents Indy racing at the highest level, so it's fitting to fight for a national championship with a field of the greatest drivers in the world at a world-class facility."

Championship Notes

The Spread: The five points separating first place Dixon from second-place Franchitti is the fourth-closest spread between first and second. There was a tie in 2003, a 1 pt margin in 2006 and 3 points in 2007, with Dixon winning in 2003 and Franchitti in 2007. The eight points separating first place Dixon from third-place Ryan Briscoe is the second-closest spread in series history. Only the 2003 season had a closer margin between first and third, where Dixon won the title.

Dixon Shows the Way: Dixon's series-leading fifth win of 2009 in Japan last month gave TCGR a series-best nine wins in 16 races (Dixon-5, Franchitti-4). The TCGR record for wins in a season is 10 from the 19-race 1998 CART season where Alex Zanardi won seven and Jimmy Vasser took three.

Defending Winner: Dixon, Franchitti and Briscoe are the only drivers still mathematically eligible for the 2009 IndyCar Series championship with one race remaining at Homestead-Miami, where Dixon is the defending racewinner.

CGR at HMS: Last year Ganassi visited victory lane twice in the matter of a few hours as Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas won the Grand-Am race before Dixon took the first win in the newly-unified IndyCar Series. This year, both Dixon and Pruett/Rojas, the defending champions in their respective series, are in contention for titles once again.

Scott Dixon and the No. 9 Target Team

Teammates Tied: Japan marked the 22nd win of Dixon's open-wheel career, tying teammate Franchitti, Tony Bettenhausen, Helio Castroneves and Emerson Fittipaldi for 16th on the list of all-time open-wheel wins.

Post Japan: "What a fantastic day for Team Target. A 1-2. For me it's tremendous. It's a track I've always wanted to win at. I kind of put Motegi just below the Indy 500. It's a very difficult circuit. I remember going there in the early years and competing for different engine manufacturers and how much emphasis is put on this race. If you have a fast car, you can still get to the front. Put on a good show. I'm over the moon. It was definitely a good day for points and I'm very happy."

Dixon at Homestead: Dixon has two wins at HMS (from the pole in 2008 and coming from 12th in 2003 - both years he won the series title), and two other top-five finishes in six races at the 1.5-mile oval.

Points: 1st in points with 570.

Dario Franchitti and the No. 10 Target Team

Post Japan: "I think we could see the Target cars were very strong. Both cars were very equally matched. Probably my car more so in traffic, and Scott maybe a little bit in clean air. But both cars, whichever one was in front was going to win."

Dario at Homestead: Franchitti has a high finish of fourth (2006) and two seventh-place finishes in five visits to HMS.

Points: 2nd in points with 565, -5 to leader Dixon.

-credit: cgr

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Jimmy Vasser , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Alex Zanardi , Scott Pruett , Memo Rojas , Ryan Briscoe , Emerson Fittipaldi , Chip Ganassi , Mike Hull , Tony Bettenhausen
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing