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08.27.12

Franchitti Finishes Third, Dixon 13th at Sonoma Grand Prix

IndyCar - Sonoma, CA

Results (with starting pos.) from Sonoma:
1.  (2) Ryan Briscoe No. 2 Chevrolet
2.  (1) Will Power, No. 12 Chevrolet
3.  (6) Dario Franchitti, No. 10 Target Honda
13.  (5) Scott Dixon, No. 9 Target Honda

Target Chip Ganassi Racing drivers Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon finished third and 13th, respectively in Sunday’s Sonoma Grand Prix.  With two events remaining on the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series calendar, Dixon is still mathematically eligible for the championship battle in fourth (-54 points), while Franchitti (-116 and in ninth) will focus on helping his teammate as only the top eight contenders are still in the fight.

Team Target began Sunday’s Grand Prix of Sonoma in the fifth (Dixon) and sixth (Franchitti) starting positions.  The green flag dropped and Dixon was spun by Helio Castroneves at turn seven on the opening lap.  The No. 9 car dropped back to 15th spot and Castroneves was handed a drive-through penalty for the incident.

Dixon pitted on lap 14 and changed to red tires in an attempt to catch up.  On lap 22 he had made his way up to seventh place.  On lap 44, in an attempt to pass Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dixon went off course and damaged the front wing of the No. 9 Target car.

After pitting to replace the front wing, the team received a penalty for hitting an air hose and fell back to 18th place.  In the final stages of the race Dixon managed to claw his way back up to 13th, where he would ultimately finish.

Franchitti moved up two positions after the green flag dropped and held fourth place.  He pitted on lap 20 and for the second time in lap 42.  The No. 10 Target car took new tires and made minor adjustments after finding the car was loose the laps prior to the pit stop.

Franchitti worked his way up to fifth place on lap 45.  He made his final pit stop to get fresh tires with 24 laps to go, and held his position in the top five.  A late caution flag came out with just 21 laps to go.  After the green flag dropped again, Franchitti was running in fourth and barely had time to turn a full lap before another yellow flag was displayed.

He restarted the race in third place with eight laps to go, where he would eventually finish.

Up next for Team Target is Round 14 of the IZOD IndyCar Series with the Grand Prix of Baltimore, Sept. 2nd at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network.

NOTES
- Since becoming Target teammates in 2009, Dixon and Franchitti have a combined total of 60 podium finishes.
- Franchitti scored his third podium of the season.
- TCGR drivers have made 14 starts at Sonoma in seven races, earning nine top-five finishes.

TCGR Quoteboard:

Dario Franchitti:
“The track made some great improvements.  My hat is off to them today.  I felt bad for Scott getting turned around by Helio and ruining his chances today.  The track is willing to work with us here and they kept the character of the track which is key."

Scott Dixon:
"It is tough to have a good day when you are forced to make six pit stops.  It is really disappointing especially when we had such a good car today."

About Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, Inc.
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 four 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 14 championships and 150 victories, including four Indianapolis 500s, a Daytona 500, a Brickyard 400 and four 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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Related Photos

  • Dario Franchitti, Photo: Getty Images
  • Ryan Briscoe & Dario Franchitti, Photo: Jose Carlos Fajardo
  • Dario Franchitti, Photo: Jose Carlos Fajardo
  • Scott Dixon, Photo: David Bolling