IRL: St. Pete: Chip Ganassi Racing race report

DIXON TAKES OVER CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD WITH SECOND PLACE FINISH AT GRAND PRIX OF ST.PETERSBURG St. Petersburg, Florida (Saturday, April 1, 2007) -- From his fourth place starting position on the grid, Target Team driver Scott Dixon scored his ...

DIXON TAKES OVER CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD WITH SECOND PLACE FINISH AT GRAND PRIX OF ST.PETERSBURG

St. Petersburg, Florida (Saturday, April 1, 2007) -- From his fourth place starting position on the grid, Target Team driver Scott Dixon scored his second consecutive runner-up finish at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and took over the IndyCar Series Championship points lead from teammate Dan Wheldon. It is Dixon's 12th IndyCar career second place finish. It is also his third 2nd place finish in a row dating back to the season finale in Chicago last fall.

From his 14th place starting position in the back-up No.10 Target Honda powered Dallara, following contact with the tire barrier in Saturday practice, Wheldon finished ninth thanks in part to an alternative pit strategy that allowed him to lead two laps of the 100 lap event. The driver of the No.10 Target car now finds himself tied for second place in driver points with Helio Castroneves, winner of Sunday's St. Pete street race. Tony Kanaan completed the podium.

The next IndyCar Series event is the Indy Japan 300 on April 21 at Twin Ring Motegi in Motegi, Japan. The IMS Radio Network will carry the race live at 11:30 p.m. (EDT) on April 20. The race will be telecast at noon (EDT) on April 21 by ESPN.

INDY PRO TEAM- The Indy Pro team and driver Chris Festa started from the 15th spot on the grid for the first race of two this weekend, and took the checkered in eighth place. For the second race of the weekend, the no.9 Indy Pro entry started from the eighth position on the grid. Festa ran as high as fifth place before being penalized for what officials deemed a blocking infraction with 10 laps to go and took the checkered flag in 12th place.

TARGET CHIP GANASSI RACING QUOTEBOARD:

Scott Dixon-No.9 Target Honda Dallara Firestone :

It's great for Target Chip Ganassi Racing. Two second place finishes after only two races this year puts us in the points lead. Dan (Wheldon) had a bit of a rough day but he'll bounce back at the next race. Helio (Castroneves) had us covered, but I think we had a little more speed on cold tires. We didn't make any mistakes and had a clean race, so it was a good day for us."

Dan Wheldon-No.10 Target Honda Dallara Firestone:

"It was definitely a frustrating weekend but the good thing we can take out of this is that the team prepared a fast race car. It was just a case of getting stuck behind the eight ball after the accident on Saturday (practice). The off-sequence strategy was the right one and it almost paid off for us. On that restart (when Wheldon was leading) I wanted to get a good exit from that last corner for the start and slowed up a bit but Helio just simply bumped me out of the way and dropped me back and it just kind of snowballed from there. There are some positives to take from this race- we got some good points and I'm excited about Japan and Indianapolis coming up. Those are two of my favorite races."

-credit: cgr

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Chip Ganassi , Chris Festa
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing