Franchitti Wins Toronto, Takes Points Lead from Dixon
IndyCar Series - Toronto, Ontario
Toronto proved to be a big points day for Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver Dario Franchitti as he gained three markers for pole position and another for leading the most laps (45 of 85) en route to winning the Honda Indy Toronto. The win takes him past Target teammate Scott Dixon (started eighth and finished fourth) for the IndyCar Series points lead as the two trade the top position for the third consecutive week.
Franchitti started from the front row and led the most laps, as he did in his first Toronto triumph in 1999. He beat Ryan Briscoe to the checkered flag by 1.6745 seconds. Along with some perfectly-timed pit strategy, the key to the race was Franchitti's Lap 65, Turn 2 pass of Helio Castroneves for the lead. The No.10 Target team would go on to hold off multiple challenges and two restarts for the win.
As a result, Team Target remains one-two in the point standings as Franchitti moves from second to first in IndyCar points with 347, while Dixon moves from first to second in the standings with 345.
This is Franchitti's third win of the season and the 11th win of his IndyCar Series career. Overall, it was his 21st career open wheel win (CART, IndyCar)
This is Target Chip Ganassi Racing's sixth victory of the season and its 30th in the IndyCar Series. Overall, it was the team's 70th career open wheel win (CART, IndyCar)
Dixon finished fourth, his fifth-straight top-five finish.
It was the third win for TCGR in Toronto (Michael Andretti, 1994 and Alex Zanardi, 1998)
In total, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams now has 111 race wins over open wheel, stock car and sports car racing (1990-Present)
Dario Franchitti: "I guess we timed it right with strategy. We really struggled in that first stint, toward the end. We really used up the reds and I was struggling. Then I got stuck by some really slow cars in the middle stint - (Mario) Moraes in particular didn't do the same thing twice in any corner, so I just stayed out of his way, but I couldn't get past him. Then we came in (to the pits) just as it went yellow, and it helped me get close to the front. I passed a couple cars and then on the restarts, I was able to take off. The Target car was fast on the restarts and we were really able to take off. It's 10 years since my first one here and it feel good." (About team owner Chip Ganassi missing the race): "I spent a lot of years chasing the Target cars here and finishing behind them. I have to thank Chip. He gave me the opportunity to come back here and drive these cars."
Scott Dixon: "The car was really good. We were strong today. I think we probably made the most passes. Our pit team was pretty good also. I'm pleased with the car but not with the result. All-in-all I think we had a really decent day we just got really screwed on that pit strategy, when the yellow comes out and you get stuck all the way in the back."
Results from Toronto:
1.) Dario Franchitti, No.10 Target Honda Dallara
2.) Ryan Briscoe, No.6 Honda Dallara
3.) Will Power, No.12 Honda Dallara
4.) Scott Dixon, No.9 Target Honda Dallara
The 2009 IndyCar Series season continues July 26th with the Rexall Edmonton Indy. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 5:00 p.m. (EDT) by VERSUS. 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.
About Target Chip Ganassi Racing
On the strength of eight wins in 17 races, Target Chip Ganassi Racing is the reigning IndyCar Series champion and Indianapolis 500 winner. Chip Ganassi created his own one-car IndyCar team in 1990 and established a partnership with sponsor, Target. Today, Target Chip Ganassi Racing includes two entries in the Indy Racing League for 2008 IndyCar Series champion and Indianapolis 500 winner Scott Dixon, and 2007 IndyCar Series champion and Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti. Target Chip Ganassi Racing has collected six Championships and 70 wins since 1994 and operates out of a state-of-the-art race shop facility in Indianapolis, Ind., with a corporate office in Pittsburgh, Pa.
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