TCGR - Belle Isle Advance Notes
Race:           Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix (3:30 PM ET, ABC)
Track:          The Raceway at Belle Isle (2.096-mile street circuit)
Location:       Detroit, Michigan
 
NOTES/NEWS
 
Follow Team Target on Twitter:  Continue to follow @TCGRTeams for official updates from Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR).
 
Managing Director, Mike Hull on Belle Isle:  “This week our Honda-powered Target IZOD IndyCar Series cars will race in Detroit on Belle Isle.  It’s a 982-acre island in the middle of the Detroit River centered between the skylines of downtown Detroit and Windsor, Canada.   The island is larger than Central Park.  The season started with street racing, and we’re back to it again.  Our team will focus on what we call the mechanical grip side of the race car due to track surfaces and tight confines that are very similar to the pavement on your street.  The concentration is to make the car turn well into the corners under very hard braking, while keeping the chassis off the ground and curbs to find the throttle faster than the competition.  The track conditions change quickly as rubber gets put down, so this is a real driver’s track as he has to adapt quickly with drive-style changes – when Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon get it right, they do what all of us would like to do:  not be caught speeding on a public road.”
 
Franchitti Wins Indianapolis 500:  Franchitti gave TCGR its fourth Indianapolis 500 victory (2000: Juan Pablo Montoya; 2008: Scott Dixon; 2010: Franchitti; 2012) at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Sporting the No. 50 in celebration of Target’s 50th Anniversary, Franchitti led 23 laps to join an elite group of six individuals who are three-time Indianapolis 500 Winners.  This win marks Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s 87th win, 96th for the overall Target Racing program and Chip Ganassi Racing Teams’ (CGRT) 146th in addition to the fifth time Chip Ganassi has drank milk as a winning car owner at the 500-mile race.  This is the second time Franchitti and Dixon finished 1-2 at the Indianapolis 500 and the win brought Franchitti’s career win total to 31, tying Paul Tracy and Sebastien Bourdais for seventh on the all-time Indy car wins list.
 
Making History Together:  Minneapolis-based Target celebrates its 23rd Anniversary in motorsports with Chip Ganassi Racing in 2012.  Since its formation, TCGR has amassed 87 victories and nine titles (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), including four Indianapolis 500 victories (2000, 2008, 2010, 2012).  The 2012 season includes two full-time entries in the IZOD IndyCar Series with Dixon and Franchitti and a full-time entry in the NASCAR Sprint Car Series for 1999 CART Champion and 2000 Indianapolis 500 Winner Juan Pablo Montoya.  Team Target continues to feature some of the world’s most accomplished race car drivers.
 
TCGR at Belle Isle:  TCGR has seven top-five finishes, 11 top-10 finishes and has led 185 laps at the Raceway at Belle Isle.  TCGR has claimed three poles at Belle Isle, the latest coming in 2008 with Dixon at the last event at the street course (Montoya 1999, 2000).  Alex Zanardi won at Belle Isle for TCGR in 1998.
 
Honda Power: Honda enters this event second in Manufacturers’ Championship point standings with 33 points, trailing Chevrolet by nine.
 
Taking over the Streets:  Since 1990, TCGR has made 194 starts on street courses, earning 20 wins, 13 poles, 49 podiums and five double podiums.
 
By the Numbers:  In 194 total street course starts, TCGR drivers have 74 top-five finishes (38.1%) and 111 top-10 finishes (57.2%).  Out of a possible 16,979 laps, TCGR has led 1,460, or 8.6% of laps run on street courses since 1990.
 
Did you Know?:  In the five seasons spanning from 1996 to 2000, TCGR drivers won at least one street course race every season, with a high total of five victories coming in 1998.
 
Success at Belle Isle:  In the nine CART events held at the Raceway at Belle Isle (1992-2001), TCGR driver Zanardi won in 1998.   Montoya claimed two poles for TCGR at Belle Isle during CART competition.  In the only two IZOD IndyCar Series events (2007, 2008), Dixon earned pole in 2008.  TCGR drivers have led 185 laps on the 2.096-mile street circuit.
 

DARIO FRANCHITTI AND THE NO. 10 SUAVE TEAM
 
Franchitti on Twitter:  Catch the latest from the driver of the No. 10 Suave Honda by following Franchitti’s personal twitter account, @dariofranchitti.
 
Suave with Franchitti on the No. 10 Honda:  The Unilever brand Suave joins as a primary sponsor on Franchitti’s car as he moves back to his traditional No. 10 car this weekend at Belle Isle and will be represented with a special new paint scheme.  The paint scheme will see Franchitti’s familiar red Target car change to a gray Suave Professionals Men paint scheme that promotes Suave’s men’s line of hair and body car products.  In addition, Unilever represents a wide range of products in food, personal and home care, nutrition and health and beauty.  More information on Unilever and their brands can be found at www.unilever.com.
 
Franchitti Drinks Milk at Indianapolis:  Franchitti lined up 16th on the grid for the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500.  By the first caution on lap 14, Franchitti worked his way up to 13th.  As he came down pit road for his first pit stop, his No. 50 car was spun by another competitor and Franchitti was knocked into the pit-wall, requiring the crew to replace the front nose.  He would return to the track 28th.  A strong car and excellent fuel-mileage helped Franchitti work his way up to ninth by the time he made his second pit stop on lap 54.  Franchitti continued his move to the front, running in the top-three for the remainder of the race, with the No. 50 and No. 9 swapping the lead amongst one another.  Franchitti would take the lead for the final time on lap 198 to earn his third victory in the Indianapolis 500.
 
Career at Belle Isle: In six starts at Belle Isle, Franchitti has one win (1999), four top-five finishes and five top-10 finishes.  Franchitti has led 44 laps at the 2.096-mile street course and has completed 464 laps out of the 465 possible.  He has an average starting and finishing position of 4.2 and fifth, respectively.
 
King of the Streets:  Franchitti has participated in 63 street course races, earning 11 victories, nine poles, 24 podiums and 32 top-fives.  He has completed 4,691 of the 5,515 laps run on street courses and has led 762 laps, which is 13.8% of all the laps completed on street courses during his career.
 
Franchitti’s Latest Try at Belle Isle:  Franchitti’s last attempt at the Raceway at Belle Isle was in 2007 where he started second and finished sixth, leading 27 laps of the 89-lap race.
 
In the Points:  After his Indianapolis 500 win, Franchitti jumped from 10th to sixth in IZOD IndyCar Series point standings and is tied with Simon Pagenaud at 136 points, 64 points behind the leader.


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NEXT RACE
 
Grand Prix of Baltimore
Streets of downtown Baltimore
Sunday, September 1, 2013
TV:  2:00 p.m. EST on NBCSN