TCGR - Texas Advance Notes
Race:                     Firestone 550 Saturday, June 8
Drivers:                @scottdixon9 @dariofranchitti
Cars:                     No. 9 Target Honda and No. 10 Belkin Honda
Track:                    Texas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
TV:                          ABC Network (8:30 PM ET)
Social:                   @TCGRTeams #TeamTarget
Location:              Fort Worth, Texas
 
BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW THAT
 
The Biggest Movers:  The Target drivers advanced 10 combined spots in the championship title race over the weekend, with Dixon jumping from eighth to fourth and Dario Franchitti moving from 17th to 11th.  Detroit marked the biggest move for team Target through seven race weekends in 2013.
 
Tied for Seventh:  Franchitti’s second pole of the season at the Chevrolet Indy at Detroit (Dual 1) tied him on the all-time pole list with Sebastien Bourdais (31).  Up next on the list is Michael Andretti with 32.
 
Four in Six:  The Firestone 550 on the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) on Sunday kicks off a spate of four ovals in six weeks – one intermediate (Texas), one superspeedway (Pocono) and two short ovals (Milwaukee and Iowa).
 
Anniversary Race:  The Firestone 550 will be the 25th IZOD IndyCar Series race at Texas Motor Speedway dating to the track’s opening in 1997.  Underscoring the competitiveness of the series, there hasn’t been a repeat winner in the past seven years.  Through the years, 18 different drivers have won the 24 races.
 
Off to a good start:  In 29 starts at TMS, TCGR drivers have rolled off the grid in the top-three 11 times.
 
Oval facts:  Since 1990, TCGR has made 413 starts on ovals, earning 45 wins, 45 poles, 164 top-five finishes (39.7%), 263 top-10 finishes (63.6%), 108 podiums and 21 double podiums.
 
Success at Texas:  In 29 starts at TMS, TCGR drivers have amassed three wins (2002: Jeff Ward; 2008: Dixon; 2011: Franchitti (Texas1), three poles (2003: Tomas Scheckter; 2008: Dixon; 2009: Franchitti), 13 top-fives and 17 top-10s.
 
Magic Number Eight:  Since 1993, 11 drivers (including two TCGR drivers) have won the eighth race of the season and also won the championship.  They are:  Franchitti (2011, Milwaukee; 2007, Iowa), Sebastien Bourdais (2007, Edmonton; 2005, San Jose ), Sam Hornish Jr. (2006, Kansas; 2002, Richmond), Tony Kanaan (2004, Nashville), Cristiano da Matta (2002, Toronto), Buddy Lazier (2000, Kentucky), Gil de Ferran (2000, Portland), Greg Ray (1999, Pikes Peak), Alex Zanardi (1998, Detroit), Kenny Brack (1998, Pikes Peak), Al Unser Jr. (1994, Cleveland).
 
Honda Sweeps in Detroit:  Honda swept the podium at the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit last weekend. Honda drivers took first and third in Dual 1, and the top-five places, and six of the top seven in Dual 2.
 
 
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR TEXAS
 
Dario Franchitti and No. 10 BelkinTeam
 
Last Time in Texas:  Franchitti rolled off second, but fought the handling on the No. 10 Honda from the drop of the green.  On lap 21, Franchitti pit under green-flag conditions in order to make major adjustments to the front wing.  He returned to the track in 23rd, one lap down.  Franchitti managed to avoid the attrition that impacted a large portion of the field, finishing the night in 14th.
 
Detroit Dual 1 Race Rewind:  Franchitti started the race on the inside of the sixth row after qualifying the No. 10 Suave Honda on pole position, but started 11th due to a grid spot penalty for an unapproved engine change incurred at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Round 5.  On lap 7 Franchitti worked his way up from eighth to fifth.  With seven laps to go, the No. 10 car worked its way from 12th up to seventh, and with six laps to go Franchitti fought to keep sixth, where he would ultimately finish.
 
Detroit Dual 2 Race Rewind:  Franchitti started the race on the outside of the eighth row after qualifying the No. 10 Suave Honda 16th.  On lap 1 of 70, Franchitti was able to advance to 13th.  On a lap 16 restart, the No. 10 car moved up to 10th, and on a lap 24 restart, Franchitti was able to maneuver to third by lap 28.  On a lap 38 restart, Franchitti held third and with seven laps to go moved to fifth, where he would ultimately finish the race.
 
Career at Texas:  In 10 starts at TMS, Franchitti has earned one win (2011), two poles, two podiums and has led 236 laps.  He has led laps in five of his 10 starts at the track, leading a high of 110 laps in his 2011 victory.  The driver of the No. 10 car has completed 1,920 of 1,940 laps run at the track in his career (98.9%).
 
Oval Office:  Franchitti has participated in 132 oval races, earning 16 victories, 14 poles and leading 3,383 laps.
 
In the Points:  With the results in Detroit, Franchitti moved up to 11th in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings with 140 markers, -66 points behind co-leaders Helio Castroneves and Marco Andretti.
 
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.


[Read More Pressroom News]
NEXT RACE
 
Grand Prix of Baltimore
Streets of downtown Baltimore
Sunday, September 1, 2013
TV:  2:00 p.m. EST on NBCSN