Watkins Glen: Chip Ganassi Racing preview

Thoughts on Watkins Glen with TCGR Managing Director Mike Hull: "Watkins Glen is a very special race track due to its lineage of winners. The drivers who have competed there have won major open wheel championships and races world-wide, so it's...

Thoughts on Watkins Glen with TCGR Managing Director Mike Hull: "Watkins Glen is a very special race track due to its lineage of winners. The drivers who have competed there have won major open wheel championships and races world-wide, so it's great to be recognized with the significance of Watkins Glen with Scott Dixon as a three-time winner. The Glen is recognized as a driver's race track, as it takes a technically savvy driver who is supported by a solid team of people to win, so that is why it's considered so important to win the event. With Scott and Dario, we have a matched set of very technical drivers who appreciate and respect the history of motorsports. They thrive on being prepared to "get-up" for race tracks like Watkins Glen."

7 Wins and 5 of 8: Dixon's win last weekend at Richmond was the 110th for Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, Inc. covering open wheel, stock car and sports car racing (1990-Present). It was the seventh of the season for CGR (five open wheel and two sports car), and the fifth in eight races in the IndyCar Series. 2008 was the team's most successful season ever with 14 wins.

Check Check 1-2 1-2: Last weekend at Richmond Franchitti started first and Dixon second, with Dixon finishing first and Dario coming home second. Dario is now first in points, with Dixon second.

Scott Dixon and the No. 9 Target Team

WGI Rewind: Last year at Watkins Glen, Dixon was in second position and eyeing Darren Manning for the lead with 10 laps to go, but spun warming up his tires and collected Ryan Briscoe, ending hopes of extending his streak of three straight wins. Dixon rebounded to finish 11th.

Former WGI Winner, Winner, Winner: Dixon has won three of the four IndyCar Series races at Watkins Glen International. Beyond being one of only two drivers in Watkins Glen history to win three straight open-wheel races at the racetrack (Graham Hill, F1), this is also the place where Dixon ended the longest dry spell of his career. His win at the Glen in the fall of 2005 snapped a 40-race winless streak.

On the Record: Last weekend's victory - Dixon's third of the season and second at Richmond - was the 19th of his IndyCar Series career and tied Sam Hornish Jr. for the most in series history. He tied the record in his 104th race - one less than Hornish, who totaled 116 starts from 2000-2006.

Contractions: Last Saturday's victory in Richmond was a nice little farewell gift to Dixon's wife, Emma, who won't be back at the track until later this season. The Dixons are expecting their first child, and Emma will be spending the next three weeks in Indianapolis preparing to give birth. Following Saturday's race-clinching pit stop, Emma said she felt a contraction.

Points: 2nd in points with 278, -1 to leader Franchitti.

Dario Franchitti and the No. 10 Polaroid Team

Polaroid Paint Scheme: WGI marks the second time the Polaroid car will run as a primary paint for TCGR. It debuted in Texas (2008) with Dan Wheldon, but did not race after a qualifying accident (backup car was Target). However Wheldon did run the Polaroid car in Kentucky later that year, starting third and finishing fifth.

Great Scot, or Scott...: Franchitti joked last week that he was looking forward to "finding out Dixon's secrets at Watkins Glen."

Dario at The Glen: Last year at Watkins Glen, Franchitti was driving the No. 40 for Chip Ganassi in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. This was one of Franchitti's best races of the 2007 season while he tried his hand in the NASCAR circuit. He started the race from the pole position and went on to finish fifth, while leading 18 out of the 82 laps. Franchitti has raced three times at the 2.45-mile road course in the IndyCar Series. He has logged two top-five and two top-10 finishes. Franchitti has an average start of fifth and an average finish of sixth place at the track, totalling 558 miles at The Glen.

-credit: cgr

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Darren Manning , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Ryan Briscoe , Chip Ganassi , Mike Hull , Graham Hill , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing