IndyCar - Target-CGR Long Beach Preview
Long Beach, Apr. 10, 2012: Follow Team Target on Twitter: Continue to follow @TCGRTeams for official updates from Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR).
There’s an App for that: Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) and SapientNitro SM recently launched one of the first mobile applications for the high-velocity world of racing. This new application brings fans updated driver and event information, and exclusive content in one centralized and expansive mobile experience, bringing to life the rich heritage and legendary success of CGRT. The unique mobile application conveys the high-octane rush of the racing experience for a team that competes at the highest levels in three series – the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS), IZOD IndyCar Series and GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series.Managing Director Mike Hull on Long Beach: “Long Beach is a real street race - in fact it's the oldest major one in North America. Southern Californians simply call it "The Race." That defines equity. What it offers is: uneven concrete & asphalt surface that affect braking/initial turn-in; concrete barriers that always seem to be at a 90-degree angle to the drivers; a massive straight; and, a narrow pit-lane. Race craft is challenged fully. It has everything except operational crosswalks and traffic lights! Watch our Target Honda Indy cars on Sunday at 12:30 EST on NBC Sports Network.”
Making History Together: Minneapolis-based Target celebrates its 23rd anniversary in motorsports with Chip Ganassi Racing in 2012. Since its formation, TCGR has amassed 86 victories and nine titles (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), including three Indianapolis 500 victories (2000, 2008, 2010). The 2012 season includes two full-time entries in the IZOD IndyCar Series with Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti and a full-time entry in the NSCS for 1999 CART Champion and 2000 Indianapolis 500 Winner Juan Pablo Montoya, as Team Target continues to feature some of the world’s most accomplished race car drivers. The Target Racing Program enters 2012 with 95 wins across four series (CART/INDYCAR: 86; GRAND-AM: 4; ARCA: 4; NSCS: 1).
TCGR at Long Beach: Between CART and INDYCAR, TCGR has visited Long Beach 16 times, amassing five victories, 10 top-fives, 17 top-10’s and leading 156 laps. Every TCGR driver that has won at Long Beach has gone on to win the championship (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2009).
Honda Power: For the second consecutive weekend, Dixon led the Honda-powered field, finishing second and leading the most laps in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. Honda comes to this weekend’s race second in the Manufacturers’ Championship, with 12 points, trailing Chevrolet by six. Lotus is third, with eight points.
Taking over the Streets: Since 1990, TCGR CART/IndyCar teams have made 191 starts on street courses, earning 20 wins, 13 poles, 49 podiums and five double podiums.
By the Numbers: In 191 total street course starts, TCGR drivers have 73 top-five finishes (38.2%) and 110 top-10 finishes (57.5%). Out of a possible 16,734 laps, TCGR has led 1,447, which is 8.6% of laps run on street courses since 1990.
Did you Know?: Michael Andretti won TCGR’s first street course race in 1994 at Surfers Paradise in Queensland, Australia. Andretti started second and led all 55 laps of the race en route to victory. Since that win, TCGR has accumulated 19 more wins on street courses.
Scott Dixon and the No. 9 Target Team
Dixon on Twitter: Catch the latest from the driver of the No. 9 Target Honda by following Dixon’s personal twitter account, @scottdixon9.
Connected: Fans can check out Dixon’s season-long blog throughout the 2012 campaign on www.Racer.com.
Indy Test: Dixon and the No. 9 Target team recently participated in an open test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This year’s May 27th running of the prestigious Indianapolis 500 will be the first test for the new chassis on an oval track. “All in all, it was pretty cool to go back to the Speedway and run around. The cars definitely look drastically different. It was a fun test,” said Dixon.
Barber Recap: Dixon started third and remained in the top-two throughout the majority of the 90-lap race. He led 38 laps at the 2.38-mile course – clinching two bonus points for leading the most laps. He first took the lead on lap 27 after cycling through green flag pit stops as the No. 9 Target team came out ahead of the leader as they returned on track. Dixon gave up the lead on lap 66 during the final cycle of pit stops after losing time behind a slower car on track. The No. 9 team crossed the line 3.3709 seconds behind race winner Will Power.
Two for Two: In each of this season’s first two races, Dixon started in the top-10, led the most laps, and finished second. The No. 9 Target team looks to gain one more position this weekend for the win.
Career at Long Beach: In five career starts on the streets of Long Beach, Dixon has an average start and finish position of 11.8 and 14.8, respectively. His best start was sixth in 2009 and his best finish was fourth in 2010. He has one top-five finish and has led laps in each of the last two events at the 1.968-mile street course.
Looking for Number Three: In 37 starts on street courses in CART and INDYCAR, Dixon has two wins, one pole, eight podiums and 14 top-five finishes. He has led 152 laps and completed 2,825 of 3,295 laps run on street courses.
Last Year at Long Beach: Dixon worked his way through the top-10 from his starting position of eighth. He led one lap before being involved in an on-track incident during a lap-66 restart. The damage forced the No. 9 team to the pits for repairs, resulting in an 18th-place finish.
Starting Strong: With Dixon’s second-place finishes at St. Petersburg and Barber, he is second in the IZOD IndyCar point standings with 84 points, two points behind Helio Castroneves.
Making History: Dixon is a two-time champion, earning titles in 2003 and 2008. He is tied for 11th with Johnny Rutherford on the all-time wins list with 27 victories. He is also tied with Emerson Fittipaldi in 18th on the all-time poles list with 17.
Dario Franchitti and the No. 10 Target Team
Franchitti on Twitter: Catch the latest from the driver of the No. 10 Target Honda by following Franchitti’s personal twitter account, @dariofranchitti.
NCAA Championship: Franchitti and his wife Ashley Judd recently attended the 2012 NCAA National Championship game featuring the University of Kentucky and Kansas University. Judd, a successful actress, is an Alumna of the University of Kentucky and remains an avid fan of the Wildcats. The couple’s support paid off as Kentucky defeated Kansas 67-59 to win their eighth national title, and first since 1998.
Barber Recap: The No. 10 Clorox Honda started the race from ninth row in 18th position. Franchitti worked to find the balance of the car all day, moving in and out of the top-15 throughout much of the race. The team was able to gain some ground in the closing laps, improving three positions in the last 10 laps for a 10th-place finish.
Career at Long Beach: In nine career starts at Long Beach, Franchitti has racked up one victory and four podiums. He has an average starting position of 11 and an average finishing position of 7.7. His best starting and finishing positions came in the 2009 race where he rolled off the grid second and crossed the finish line first.
Strong on the Streets: Franchitti has participated in 61 street course races in CART and IndyCar combined, earning 11 victories, nine poles, 24 podiums and 31 top-fives. He has completed 4,534 of the 5,355 laps run on street courses and has led 757 laps, which is 14.1% of all the laps completed on street courses during his career.
Last Year at Long Beach: Franchitti started in seventh position and methodically worked to the front of the field. He made his way through a wild lap-66 restart to finish third, earning his third consecutive podium.
In the Points: After a top-10 at Barber, Franchitti moved up three spots in the points. Franchitti and Rubens Barrichello are tied for 10th with 37 points, -49 points behind Castroneves.
Making History: Franchitti is a four-time champion, bringing home titles in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011. He ranks ninth on both the all-time wins list and all-time poles list with 30 and 26, respectively.