Dixon Finishes 11th, Franchitti 19th at Milwaukee

[media-credit name=”milwaukeeindyfest.com” align=”alignright” width=”210″][/media-credit]WEST ALLIS, Wis. (June 16, 2012) – Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR) driver Scott Dixon finished 11th in the MilwaukeeIndyFest presented by XYQ at the Milwaukee Mile, while teammate Dario Franchitti finished 19th.

Dixon qualified 11th but started the No. 9 Target Honda 21st as the result of a 10-spot grid penalty for an unapproved engine change prior to the event weekend. He quickly began moving through the field and pitted during a caution on lap 67. While running third and going back to green after a caution on lap 108, Dixon was served a drive-through penalty for passing a car before the green flag on what turned out to be an aborted restart. After serving a penalty, Dixon rejoined the field 17th. He made a routine pit stop on lap 166 and pitted for fresh tiresunder caution on lap 182 to restart 12th with 34 laps to go. The team would eventually finish in the 11th position. Following the race, INDYCAR Race Control acknowledged the mistake in their review process for thepenalty and took full responsibility for it being the wrong call, however, the team was still credited with an 11th-place result.

Franchitti started on the pole of the 225-lap event and led for 63 laps before relinquishing the lead to pit for a right rear tire going down on the No. 10 Cottonelle Honda. He restarted seventh and eventually settled into eighth after a series of cautions and pit stops. Franchitti made a pit stop on lap 169 to rejoin the field 12th. With 34 laps to go, the team made a final stop while under caution for fresh tires. On lap 194, Franchitti made contact with the wall in between Turns 3 and 4 forcing him to retire from the event and was credited with 19th. Just prior to the contact, Franchitti was forced down onto the rumble strips to avoid an incident with another car who came down on him.

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With the results, Dixon drops to third in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings with 239 points, -35 points behind leader Will Power. Franchitti drops to seventh in the standings with 205 points, -69 behind Power.

Honda remains in second in the manufacturer point standings with 63 points, six markers behind Chevrolet. Lotus remains third with 32 points.

Team Target heads to the Iowa Corn Indy 250 at Iowa Speedway for Round 9 with the IZOD IndyCar Series on June 23 at 10:00 PM ET on NBS Sports Network.

NOTES

– Franchitti earned his second pole at Milwaukee and his 27th overall in Indy car racing.
– Franchitti led 63 laps at the event.

TCGR Quoteboard:

Scott Dixon: “I really don’t know what happened on the restart where we got penalized. I think the one they waved off was the one we got out of line when EJ Viso was trying to restart at only 20 mph. I was in first gear and when it went green, I went. I don’t know what the issue was but I’m really looking forward to the explanation from INDYCAR. It’s a shame for the Target team and that punishment is pretty harsh.”

Dario Franchitti: “I was on Ryan Briscoe’s inside and he just kept coming down there. I just don’t think his spotter told him I was there. I had half a car on the rumble strip. The next lap I went in there and something broke in the back end of the car. The spine just snapped down. You actually see the car drop in the back there before it hit so I think the suspension broke. The Cottonelle car was not very good today unfortunately but we were making the best of it.”

 

Beaux Barfield, INDYCAR Race Director: “Due to a glitch in technology, there was a discrepancy between the official race clock and the clock on the replay machine. Therefore the review of the jumped start was one lap off, leading Race Control to make the call on the wrong lap. We have informed the Ganassi team of this error and Race Control is taking every step necessary to address it going forward. The Race Control team will be meeting first thing Monday morning to review the issue and explore remedies in advance of the race at Iowa.”

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 147 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

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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