TCGR - Long Beach Advance Notes
Race:                                   Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 21
Drivers:                                @scottdixon9 @dariofranchitti
Cars:                                     No. 9 Target and No. 10 Target Hondas
Track:                                    Streets of Long Beach, Calif.
TV:                                         NBC Sports Network (4pm ET)
Social:                                   @TCGRTeams #TeamTarget
 
BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW THAT
 
Ryan Briscoe Joins Chip Ganassi Racing for 97th Indianapolis 500:  Four-time and reigning Indianapolis 500 Winners Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) announced last week an agreement with former Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver Ryan Briscoe to pilot a fourth Honda entry with sponsorship from NTT DATA, a leading global  IT services provider, for the 97th Running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) on May 26 (11AM, ABC).  Briscoe will return to CGRT in the No. 8 NTT DATA Honda alongside three-time and reigning Indianapolis 500 Winner Dario Franchitti (No. 10 Target Honda), 2008 Indianapolis 500 Winner Scott Dixon (No. 9 Target Honda) and Charlie Kimball (No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Honda) who is coming off a solid weekend in Round 2 of the IZOD IndyCar Series at Barber Motorsports Park.  With the addition of Briscoe to the lineup, CGRT will be fielding entries for both the defending Indianapolis 500 polesitter and racewinner when the track opens Saturday, May 11.
 
Dario Makes His 250th Indy car Start in Long Beach:  “It’s been a long time but it’s not just about being here, it’s being here and trying to be competitive.  If I continue to be competitive I’ll be happy.  The drive to continue is one thing, but it’s also being realistic about being competitive. Right now, we’re still able to do that.  It’s amazing to think of all those years doing this and the races I’ve got to win, people I’ve gotten to work with, the teammates I’ve had, the teams I’ve gotten to drive with, the friends I’ve made.  This has been my life for a long time and I hope it continues for a long time because it was my dream to do this and I’m still here.  It’s a competitive environment and you’re always gunning to try to be on top, and if you’re not on top you want to be.  That’s what makes this sport so great, I think.”
 
Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, Unite:  Chip Ganassi Racing Teams and Novo Nordisk are supporting Indy car driver Charlie Kimball in their ‘Race With Insulin Unites’ campaign again in Long Beach to promote diabetes awareness.  This weekend all Chip Ganassi Racing Indy cars will race with blue wheels to simulate the blue circle that is the global symbol for the International Diabetes Federation.
 
99 Wins and Counting…:  The Target Racing Program, which began with Target and Chip Ganassi Racing in 1990, is just one win shy of the 100-win plateau.  The first win for the program came in 1994 with Michael’s Andretti’s Indy car victory at Surfers Paradise, Australia, when the team was merely a two-car open wheel program.  Ninety-eight wins later, the program’s umbrella not only includes involvement in the IZOD IndyCar Series, but in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) and the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series.  The partnership between Target and Chip Ganassi Racing is one of the longest consecutive team partnerships in motor racing history.
 
#TEAMGANASSI
 
Follow Team Target on Twitter:  Continue to follow Target Chip Ganassi Racing on their official team Twitter page.  Find in-race updates and weekly news on the No.9 and No.10 teams throughout the 2013 season by following “@TCGRTeams”.
 
CGRT Mobile App:  Download the Chip Ganassi Racing Teams mobile app for the latest driver news, event information, social media updates and exclusive content.  Head to the iTunes store and check it out: http://bit.ly/YGJQxf.
 
Dario Franchitti and No. 10 Target Team
 
In the Off-Weekend:   The last time an Indy car turned a lap in competition at Pocono Raceway was Aug. 20, 1989.  Franchitti recently got the opportunity to test on the “Tricky Triangle” as Firestone Racing continued its due diligence with a day of tire evaluation in advance of the July 7 IZOD IndyCar Series race.  Firestone engineers used the Indianapolis 500 tire specification as a baseline and then tested a number of compounds and construction alternatives.  Driver feedback, race team engineer input and tire performance data collected from the test was evaluated to determine the best tire specification to develop for the race weekend.  Franchitti was the only driver at the test with perspective of the tri-oval, having competed on the track in a stock car in 2008.  “I think it will be a very fun place to drive an Indy car,” Franchitti said.  “They resurfaced it and put catch fending up (since he raced there) and I think it will be an amazing race for our cars.”
 
Last Time at Long Beach:  Due to 10-spot grid penalties for much of the field, the No. 10 Target Honda started from the pole.  Franchitti held the point at the start and led until a lap-five restart.  He completed the first 30 laps of the race in the top-five, until contact with Ryan Briscoe on lap 30 forced him to pit-road for repairs on lap 34.  After replacing the front wing, Franchitti returned to the track in 16th.  The remainder of the race went caution-free, making gaining ground difficult.  A mechanical issue on the last lap would prevent the team from crossing the finish line.  The Target team was credited with 15th.
 
Race Rewind:  Franchitti and the No. 10 team weren’t very fortunate at Barber Motorsports Park , starting 17th and finishing 25th after a header problem just before the half-way point caused electrical issues, which eventually took out the clutch and ended their day.  The team made up ground in the opening laps going from 17th to 12th in the opening stint, and pit early to go off strategy on Lap 19.  Lap 43 would be the last lap turned for the No. 10 team as they went back to the Target garage for repairs.
 
Dario Returns:  Four-time IZOD IndyCar Series Champion (2007, 2009, 2010, 2011) and three-time Indianapolis 500 Winner, Franchitti, returns to TCGR in 2013 for his fifth season alongside two-time Champion and 2008 Indianapolis 500 Winner, Dixon.  Franchitti is tied for seventh on the all-time wins list with 31 and holds sole possession of eighth on the all-time poles list with 29.
 
Rarified Air:  Dario is one of only five drivers to win the Indianapolis 500 and the series title in the same season more than once.  By winning the 2012 Indianapolis 500, he became just the 10th driver in history to win the race three times.


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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