Mid-Ohio: Series race report

DIXON EARNS INDYCAR SERIES RECORD 20th WIN AT MID-OHIO LEXINGTON, Ohio (Sunday, Aug. 9, 2009) - Scott Dixon used a dominating performance to win the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio presented by Westfield Insurance and earned his record 20th IndyCar...

DIXON EARNS INDYCAR SERIES RECORD 20th WIN AT MID-OHIO

LEXINGTON, Ohio (Sunday, Aug. 9, 2009) - Scott Dixon used a dominating performance to win the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio presented by Westfield Insurance and earned his record 20th IndyCar Series victory.

Dixon, competing in his 109th IndyCar Series race (all with Chip Ganassi's team), overtook Sam Hornish Jr. for the series record. Dixon also tied teammate Dario Franchitti for 19th on the all-time career list (sanctioning by AAA, USAC, CART, Champ Car World Series and the Indy Racing League) with 21 (he picked up one victory at Nazareth in CART). A.J. Foyt is the all-time Indy car victory leader with 67.

Dixon, with his fourth win of the season, also moved back into the series championship points lead with four races remaining - the next Aug. 23 at Infineon Raceway -- by three over Briscoe and 20 over Franchitti. It's the 12th time in the 13 races that the points lead has changed hands.

Franchitti finished third for his ninth top 5 in the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car and Ryan Hunter-Reay gave A.J. Foyt Racing its best finish in more than a year with fourth after starting seventh in the No. 14 ABC Supply Co. car.

Also on Aug. 9, James Davison led all 40 laps and won the Mid-Ohio 100 for the second consecutive year. It was the first victory for Vision Racing five weeks after Davison gave the team its first pole at Watkins Glen. James Hinchcliffe, driving the No. 7 Hinchtown/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car, finished 4.0420 seconds back and Firestone Indy Lights points leader J.R. Hildebrand finished where he started (third) in the No. 26 ARPRO car for AFS Racing/Andretti Green Racing.

DAY 3 NOTEBOOK:

MID-OHIO 100 POST-RACE NOTES:

* This is James Davison's first win of the season and the second of his career. His last win came here at Mid-Ohio in the second race in 2008.

* This is Vision Racing's first win in Firestone Indy Lights.

* James Hinchcliffe finished second, his best finish in Firestone Indy Lights

* J.R. Hildebrand finished third. His eighth podium finish of the season.

MID-OHIO 100 POST-RACE QUOTES:

JAMES DAVISON (No. 21 People*s Liberation/Vision Racing, Mid-Ohio 100 race winner): "It was awesome. We didn't really have any pressure from behind. The whole team effort was awesome. I'm really happy. The tires started to wear off, losing front grip and rear grip, but it's the same for everybody. We were able to pull away from the next car behind us, so I gather we were the quickest car on the track."

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 7 Hinchtown/Sam Schmidt Motorsports, finished second): "I really thought we got beat yesterday with the way those yellows fell in qualifying, giving James (Davison) the pole there, because I really think we had a shot at it. It's just so tough to pass here. I think we took a couple laps longer to get up to speed, but once we did, the first half of race we were right on his gearbox. I was kind of hoping he get into a mistake, but I must of used up too much of my tires running around in the dirty air there, so we sort of lost pace there at the end. I was doing (1 minute) 14.7 (second laps) after 14.7 after 14.7 but there was nothing I could do to make it go any quicker. Still a great day; we finally broke the third place streak we had going and make it one step higher. Now we've got one to go. Three races to do it; one more step to go."

J.R. HILDEBRAND (No. 26 ARPRO, finished third): "It was a tough race. It's hot out here. The car was understeering quite a bit. We trimmed out a little bit to see if we could get by these guys and couldn't make it happen on the starts or restarts so that made my day a little tougher down the road. But, all the boys have done a great job. We had some problems earlier in the weekend so everybody's done a god job to recover. We're going to a couple of tracks I know we'll be strong at the next couple of races so I'm looking forward to moving along.

Tony George (Co-owner, Vision Racing): "I'm very proud of today's result by our Firestone Indy Lights People*s Liberation team. A lot of hard work went it to this by the whole team and James (Davison) all year long and it's great to be rewarded with such a strong performance. The team and its partnership with Bryan Herta Autosport was very strong this weekend. We just barely missed out on putting all three cars in the top-5 both yesterday and today. After flirting with a victory last weekend, it's nice to finally get that first win for our organization."

***

Several Firestone Indy Lights and IndyCar Series teams are helping raise money for various charities supported by the racing community. For a donation, fans were invited to sign decals that were carried by cars during the Mid-Ohio 100 and the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. The decals support CARA Charities, which is splitting some funds with the Indy Family Foundation (with a decal on Vision Racing's cars), The Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation (Sam Schmidt Motorsports) and the Association of Hole in the Wall Camps (Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing).

***

Bryan Herta is a native of Warren, Mich., and lives in Valencia, Calif., but the driver turned Firestone Indy Lights team owner continues to have a special place in his heart for Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Herta, who graduated from Ohio State and raced for Hilliard, Ohio-based Team Rahal in CART, saw his Firestone Indy Lights cars place in fourth (Felipe Guimaraes) and sixth position (Daniel Herrington) during Sunday's Mid-Ohio 100.

***

HONDA INDY 200 AT MID-OHIO POST-RACE NOTES:

* This is Scott Dixon's fourth win of the season and the 20th of his IndyCar Series career. The win breaks a tie between Dixon and Sam Hornish Jr. for most IndyCar Series wins.

* Ryan Briscoe finished second for the sixth time this season.

* Dario Franchitti finished third, his sixth podium finish of the season.

* Ryan Hunter-Reay finished fourth, his second top-five finish of the season and the best finish for A.J. Foyt Racing at Mid-Ohio since Robby Gordon finished second in 1993.

* Hideki Mutoh finished fifth, his third top-five finish of the season.

***

With today's victory, Scott Dixon has surpassed Sam Hornish Jr. to become the winningest driver in IndyCar Series history with 20 wins.

QUICK FACTS ON SCOTT DIXON'S INDYCAR SERIES WINS:

* All wins have come with Target Chip Ganassi Racing.

* First win came in his debut IndyCar Series race (Homestead, 2003).

* 20th win came in 109 IndyCar Series start.

* Tied with Dan Wheldon for most wins in a season (six).

* 13 of wins have taken place on ovals (Homestead, Pikes Peak, Richmond, Nashville, Indianapolis, Texas, Kentucky, Kansas, Milwaukee).

* 7 of wins have taken place on a road/street course (Watkins Glen, Mid-Ohio, Infineon, Edmonton).

* Won at Watkins Glen and Nashville three times, the most of any track on his win list.

* Won from the pole six times.

* Only active driver with more than one IndyCar Series championship.

* Longest winless streak was 40 races (Kansas 2003-Watkins Glen 2005).

***

The margin from first to third is 20 points, the third-closest race with four laps to go in series history. In 2002 and 2003, the margin from first to third was 12 points.

This is the 12th time in 13 races in 2009 that the championship points leader has changed.

HONDA INDY 200 AT MID-OHIO POST-RACE QUOTES:

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing, winner Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio): "I think the Target car was fantastic from the get-go. We had a fairly decent start. I think we could have had Justin (Wilson) there but didn't want to push the envelope too much. We were sitting behind (Ryan) Briscoe to save tons of gas and that allowed us to go a lap or two longer. I don't really think the pass on Justin (Wilson) had much to do with Milka (Duno). We pretty much made the pass going into the corner, and she made it kind of interesting in the next couple corners."

RYAN BRISCOE (No. 6 Team Penske, finished second): "Scott (Dixon) was just the class of the field today and Justin (Wilson) was really good. We went for the reds at the end and it was something different, hoping that they would hang on, but it looks like the hotter temperatures caused them to blister after about four laps. It was hard to hold Dario (Franchitti) off. I'm pretty happy to come in second today."

DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing, finished third): "I was a little disappointed. We cannot get the Target car handling the way I want it to. When we do, I think we'll be really good because we're finishing third with the car not balanced at all the way I like it. If we get it the way we do on the street courses, look out. The guys did a great job on pit road and the Target team pulled a great strategy. Scotty D. did a great job today. We just have to regroup and come back a lot stronger in Sonoma."

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 14 ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt Racing, finished fourth): We were able to gap anybody out there and we were holding with the leaders. We were pretty happy with that. At the end though, Hideki was fast. He was really pushing me hard and I was driving as hard as I could to stay up ahead of him. A fourth for this team right now is a big deal. A fourth for me right now is a big deal. We were catching third. It was a lot of fun.

HIDEKI MUTOH (No. 27 Formula Dream, finished fifth): At the beginning of the race we were saving the car, tires, fuel and I think we had a right time to have a yellow. When everybody pitted I had two more laps to go with my fuel so I really pushed hard there and I think I made a position there so the strategy was really good. The car was good so I'm looking forward to the next race.

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 Meijer, finished sixth): "Not a bad day for the Meijer car. It was a long day, but I'm glad we were able to finish inside the top-ten. The goal is to make our way up in points; it'd be great if we're able to charge our way up to fifth and today put us closer to that goal.

PAUL TRACY (No. 5 Azul Tequila/Votorantim/KVRT, finished seventh): "First of all I want to thank Mario (Moraes). This was a pretty good result, and it is for him and his family. It was a good race for the Azul/Votorantim/KV Racing Technology team, and I want to thank the team for all their hard work. The car wasn't super quick and it wasn't slow. It was just a good solid race, and we earned solid points. Hopefully we moved the team up the pit lane a little bit."

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 02 McDonald's Racing Team, finished eighth): "It's frustrating because the McDonald's team had a good weekend going and I just wanted to have just a normal race with no mistakes and if we did that I knew we would have a good result. I just couldn't do it. I hit the brakes and they instantly locked so before I even turned into the corner I was trying to figure out how to save it and just couldn't. The rear brakes just locked up and it happened instantly and I don't know exactly why it happened. It hadn't happened any other time going into that section but one lap out of 85 is enough though unfortunately. The whole time I thought I was being conservative and wasn't making any mistakes and that's what I was hoping for. I wanted a top-five finish here. I don't think we had a car that could win but I will say that we were close; the McDonald's car felt really good. It's a frustrating result for the McDonald's team because the car was quick all day. I got by Dario and that was good and then I thought I was going to have something for (third place) Briscoe but we didn't quite have enough for him. Later I had a shot at passing PT (Tracy) but I made the mistake of pushing Push to Pass too early so I couldn't use it down the back straight because you can't use it for 10 seconds after each time. I got up to fourth in the race but then made a mistake. It's a frustrating result."

RAPHAEL MATOS (No. 2 US Marines Luczo Dragon Racing, finished ninth): "It was a really good day for the team. We finished top 10 and took the lead in the Rookie of the Year championship. Qualifying made our life a little more difficult because it is so hard to pass here. I really had to time my push to pass well. The US Marines Luczo Dragon Team did a great job on the pit stops and that allowed me to pick up some positions. I got a little frustrated with lapped traffic. Milka (Duno) slowed me down and I lost two positions to Marco (Andretti) and Paul Tracy. I just got caught behind her in the last sector where it's impossible to pass, and that cost me six seconds and allowed those guys to make up time coming out of the pits. But overall, it was a good day for the team."

TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Team 7-Eleven, finished 10th): "I think someone made contact with me at the start of the race, so we lost positions pretty early. We had to change our strategy from the beginning, but I have to thank my 7-Eleven team for getting us back into the top 10. It wasn't easy. It was a tough race for sure, but we were able to move up in points."

***

The 2009 IndyCar Series season continues Aug. 23 with the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma at Infineon Raceway. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 5 p.m. (EDT) by VERSUS. A one-hour qualifying show will be telecast by VERSUS at 6 p.m. on Aug. 22. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network, XM channel 145 and Sirius channel 211. The radio broadcast also will be carried on www.indycar.com. The 2009 Firestone Indy Lights season continues with the Carneros 100 on Aug. 23 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The race will be telecast at 4 p.m. (EDT) on Aug. 24 by VERSUS.

-credit: irl

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Bryan Herta , Dan Wheldon , Sam Schmidt , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Ryan Briscoe , Chip Ganassi , Tony George , James Davison , Daniel Herrington , James Hinchcliffe , J.R. Hildebrand , Hideki Mutoh , A.J. Foyt , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing , Bryan Herta Autosport , KV Racing Technology , Dragon Racing , Chip Ganassi Racing