Team Target Takes IZOD IndyCar Series Title and Victory at Homestead-Miami HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Oct. 4, 2010) - Target Chip Ganassi Racing claimed their third consecutive IZOD IndyCar Series title and fifth consecutive win at Homestead-Miami...
Team Target Takes IZOD IndyCar Series Title and Victory at Homestead-Miami
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Oct. 4, 2010) - Target Chip Ganassi Racing claimed their third consecutive IZOD IndyCar Series title and fifth consecutive win at Homestead-Miami Speedway Saturday night as Scott Dixon won the Cafes do Brasil 300 and Dario Franchitti clinched the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series Championship.
It was the third straight championship for Franchitti (2007, 2009, 2010), who joined Team Target following a brief stint driving for team owner Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team in 2008. In addition, it marked the eighth open wheel title overall for the team (CART -- 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999; IndyCar -- 2003, 2008, 2009, 2010) and the 12th overall championship (CART -- 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999; IndyCar -- 2003, 2008, 2009, 2010; GRAND-AM -- 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010).
Franchitti entered the weekend trailing championship leader Will Power by 12 points. He earned the PEAK Performance Pole Award on Friday afternoon, which gave him one bonus point and closed the margin between he and Power heading into the race (-11). Following the pole award, Franchitti and the No. 10 Target team clinched the most laps led on Lap 118 of the 200-lap race to earn another two-point bonus (-9). He would go on to finish in eighth position, outscoring Power by five points.
Dixon entered the finale in Homestead just four points outside the top-three in the championship standings. He qualified on the front row alongside Franchitti, and eventually took over the race lead on lap 168. He held onto the top-spot for the remainder of the 200-lap event, outlasting Danica Patrick and Tony Kanaan to claim his third victory of the 2010 season.
With the victory, Dixon regained third-place overall in the championship standings, and closed out the season 55 points out of the top-spot.
Dixon's win at Homestead extended Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, Inc's team-record 18th wins in 2010 across all three of the series in which the team competes (GRAND-AM, NASCAR Sprint Cup and IZOD IndyCar Series).
Franchitti and Dixon combined to win six of 17 races in 2010, scoring three victories each (Franchitti -- Indianapolis, Mid-Ohio, Chicagoland; Dixon -- Kansas, Edmonton, Homestead).
Dario Franchitti: "It was all going really well until that last pit stop when we got back in the pack and everyone was going four-wide and banging wheels. The 18 car crashed right in front of us and almost took us out. It was a little too action-packed at the end of the race."
Scott Dixon: "Dario's car was strong all night. Tony Kanaan was aggressive in the first stint, so I didn't want to get involved in that too much. We were a little loose at the start, but we were able to fix that. With so many yellows, it turned into a fuel race, and we had a few rough restarts. This was a huge night for us, but more importantly for Dario for taking another championship. A great night for the Target team, and it is nice to come out on top. We definitely had a rough year and a lot of missed opportunities, but everyone is very excited about the outcome of tonight."