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03.25.13

Dixon Finishes Fifth, Franchitti Has Contact in Season-Opener

IndyCar - St. Petersburg, FL

Results (with starting pos.) from St. Petersburg
1. (4) James Hinchcliffe, No. 27 Chevrolet
2. (5) Helio Castroneves, No. 3 Chevrolet
3. (7) Marco Andretti, No. 25 Chevrolet
5. (20) Scott Dixon, No. 9 Target Honda
25. (10) Dario Franchitti, No. 10 Target Honda

Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR) drivers Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti finished fifth and 25th, respectively, in the season-opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg for the IZOD IndyCar Series.

Dixon started the race from the 20th position and began picking cars off one-by-one, working his way up to 17th in the opening laps.  The No. 9 Target team ran a consistent race, focusing on conserving tires while making good fuel mileage.  While running fourth in the closing stages of the 110-lap event, the team encountered a mechanical problem with the waste gate on the turbo, which prevented Dixon from getting maximum power from the engine.  Despite this issue, he hung on and picked up an additional spot on the final lap to finish in fifth position.

After qualifying 10th, Franchitti maintained his position mid-pack until pitting for his first stop on Lap 17.  Following the stop, the No. 10 car made contact with the wall while coming off pit lane on cold tires, resulting in left front-end damage.  As a result, the No. 10 Target team retired early due to the sustained damage.

With the results, Dixon is fifth in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings with 30 markers, while Franchitti stands 25th with five markers.

Honda is second in the manufacturer point standings with six points, trailing Chevrolet with nine.

Up next for Team Target is Round 2 of the IZOD IndyCar Series with the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama from Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday, April 7th (3:00 pm ET NBC Sports).

NOTES
- The No. 9 team moved up 15 positions and finished fifth after starting 20th – the biggest gain of any entry in the 25-car field.

TCGR Quoteboard:

Dario Franchitti:
“We’ve really struggled with the Target car this weekend.  I was trying to make up for it somewhere on the track and I just stepped over the line there on cold tires.  I hit a bump in turn three, and with the ride height being so low with the tire pressures I just got in the marbles and in the wall.  It was totally my mistake.”

Scott Dixon:
“The Target car was generally pretty good, we were just trying to get good fuel mileage and look after the tires.  The yellows didn’t really fall our way today.  We went a little bit off sequence there at the end but what killed us was the left waste gate on the turbo broke so I had no boost.  I was just getting killed on straight-line speed and they just all got past me on the final restarts.”

About Chip Ganassi Racing Teams
Chip Ganassi has been a fixture in the auto racing industry for over 25 years and is considered one of the most successful as well as innovative owners the sport has anywhere in the world.  Today his teams include three cars in the IZOD IndyCar Series, two cars in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and one Daytona Prototype in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series.  Overall his teams have 15 championships and over 150 victories, including four Indianapolis 500s, a Daytona 500, a Brickyard 400 and five Rolex 24 At Daytonas.  Ganassi boasts state-of-the-art race shop facilities in Indianapolis and Brownsburg, Ind. and Concord, N.C., with a corporate office in Pittsburgh, Penn.

For more information log onto: chipganassiracing.com
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  • Scott Dixon, Photo: Getty Images
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