Dixon Wins Motegi as Target Team Retakes Top Two Spots in Championship MOTEGI, Japan (September 19, 2009) - Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti combined to lead 192 of 200 laps at Twin Ring Motegi en route to a clean ...
Dixon Wins Motegi as Target Team Retakes Top Two Spots in Championship
MOTEGI, Japan (September 19, 2009) - Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti combined to lead 192 of 200 laps at Twin Ring Motegi en route to a clean sweep of the race as Dixon took all 53 points available (win, pole and laps led) with his IndyCar-best fifth win of 2009. Franchitti started third, led 53 laps and finished second to give Target the one-two finish.
To date, Team Target has a series-best nine wins in 16 races this season (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.
With the finishes, Dixon retakes the IndyCar points lead with 570, while Franchitti remains second in the standings with 565 (-5 to leader Dixon). Ryan Briscoe, who went into the race with a 25-point lead over Franchitti and a 32-point lead over Dixon, finished 18th and has 562 points (-8 to Dixon).
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.
The 2009 IndyCar Series season concludes October 10th at Homestead-Miami Speedway with the Firestone Indy 300. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 4:00 p.m. (EDT) on VERSUS HD. 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.
- This is Dixon's fifth win of the season and the 21st of his IndyCar Series career. His last win came at Mid-Ohio.
- It is the 22nd win of Scott Dixon's open-wheel career tying Franchitti, Tony Bettenhausen, Helio Castroneves and Emerson Fittipaldi for 16th on the list of all-time open-wheel wins.
- Overall, it was the team's 73rd career open wheel win (CART, IndyCar)
- In total, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams now has 114 race wins over open wheel, stock car and sports car racing (1990-Present)
- This is Target Chip Ganassi Racing's ninth win of the season and its 33rd win in the IndyCar Series.
- Franchitti finished second, his 12th top-five finish and eighth podium finish of the season.
- Dixon takes the point lead with his win at Twin Ring Motegi, the 14th change at the top of the point standings in 16 races.
- The eight points separating first place Dixon from third-place Briscoe is the second-closest spread between in series history. Only the 2003 season had a closer margin between first and third.
- 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, 1 pt margin in 2006 and 3 points in 2007.
Scott Dixon: "A fantastic day for Team Target. A 1-2. For me it's tremendous. It's a track I've always wanted to win in. I kind of put Motegi just below the Indy 500. It's a very difficult circuit. I remember coming here 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. Over the moon. Definitely a good day for points and very happy."
Dario Franchitti: "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. I managed to go longer than Scott in the first run. It was looking good. We came out of the pits after the second stop having pulled a pretty substantial gap. I was coming up to lap the No. 2 car, and I went to go on the inside and he came down, so I moved up, he moved up. He kept moving up until I hit a bump and ended up in the marbles. I managed to gather it back up, by which point Scott had a massive run and passed me. It was unfortunate to lose the lead that way, but we've seen that all year from him, to be honest. After that, it's just trying to pass Scott. We tried on the pits, on the restarts. We were so equal today, I needed traffic in front of us to slow Scott so I could get a run on him, and there wasn't any."