TCGR - Houston Advance Notes
Race:
The Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston, October 5 & 6
Driver: @scottdixon9 @dariofranchitti
Car: No. 9 Target and No. 10 T-Mobile Hondas
Track:   Reliant Park (1.7-mile temporary street circuit)
TV:  Saturday, 3:00 PM ET and Sunday, 1:00 PM ET on NBC Sports Network
Social: @TCGRTeams #TeamTarget
Location:  Houston, Texas
 
BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW THAT
 
In Their Off Weekend:  The No. 02 Cessna Dinan-Prepared BMW returned to action for a third time in the 2013 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series season (Rolex 24 At Daytona and Brickyard Grand Prix), piloted by Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon on September 8.  Franchitti started the race off behind the wheel in fourth and 23 laps in Dixon took over the helm and brought the No. 02 car to a third-place podium finish right behind the second-place car driven by Memo Rojas and Scott Pruett.  The No. 01 team went on to win the team’s seventh championship in Sept.
 
Ganassi Unplugged:  Chip Ganassi Racing Teams recently announced the release of a brand-new web-based series, Ganassi Unplugged, which puts team owner Chip Ganassi’s opinions, innovative mind and appetite for success on full display every week in a series of short video clips.  The weekly series debuted last week on GanassiTV and will run until the opening of the 2014 racing season with the Rolex 24 At Daytona in late January.  Ganassi Unplugged will bring out the honest, pragmatic and humorous personality of the multi-series team owner through unscripted, bite-sized clips, focusing on a different subject each week.  Ganassi has over 30 years of experience in motorsports and that alone gives him the credibility to voice his opinions.  As a former driver, a successful team owner and avid student of the sport, Chip Ganassi is a distinguished business man within the industry and Ganassi Unplugged gives individuals all over the world a chance to see and hear what he thinks. 
 
Dual Winner Earns $50,000:  The Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston doubleheader provides Dixon and Franchitti with the chance to claim another $50,000 for earning the SONAX Perfect Finish Award with a Houston sweep.  SONAX, a leading manufacturer of premium car care products worldwide, will sponsor the SONAX Perfect Finish Award – a contingency prize tied to the series’ doubleheader events.  Dixon, who trails Helio Castroneves by 49 points heading into the Oct. 5-6 races, has been the top performer of all drivers who have competed in the two doubleheader events this season with top-five finishes in each race.  He won a $100,000 bonus by winning the SONAX Perfect Finish Award at Toronto - part of a three-race win streak in July that saw him vault from seventh in the championship to second.  Dixon had a pole and a pair of fourth-place finishes at the Raceway of Belle Isle to give him an average finish of 2.5 in the four previous doubleheader races.
 
Points Update:  In Baltimore, Honda had three of the top-five finishing cars – marking the second time this season (Mid-Ohio) that Honda has tied with Chevrolet in the manufacturer point standings (120 points).
 
12 Year Gap, TCGR is Back:  Target Chip Ganassi Racing is making its return to Houston, Texas for the first time since 2001 when the team ran with drivers Memo Gidley and Bruno Junqueira.  In eight starts at Houston (1998-2001), TCGR has earned one win (Jimmy Vasser-2000), one pole (Juan Pablo Montoya-1999), four podiums, five top-five and top-10 finishes.  TCGR has led 43 laps and completed 580 of 740 laps total at Houston.
 
TCGR on Street Courses:  Since 1990 TCGR has 230 starts on street courses.  Overall, the team’s street course record includes 25 wins, 58 podiums, 23 poles, 91 top-five and 134 top-10 finishes.
 
Continued Top 10:  Baltimore marked the third-consecutive weekend all three team Ganassi drivers ended a round in the top-10 in points this season.  Dixon holds second (-49), Franchitti in seventh (-113) and Kimball remains in 10th (-138).  Castroneves leads with 501.
 
#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.
 
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR HOUSTON
 
Dario Franchitti and No. 10 T-Mobile Team
 
Off-Weekend Fun:  During the off weekend, Franchitti participated in the GRAND-AM race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on September 8, where he earned a podium finish with teammate Dixon.  Two days later, he traveled to Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) for a Firestone Racing Tire Test on Sept. 10.  He then participated in tests at Sebring International Raceway in Fla. (Sept. 17) and Auto Club Speedway in Calif. (Sept. 24).
 
Honoring Jim Clark:  Franchitti also traveled to England during the off weekend and was honored to drive the Lotus 38 that won the 1965 Indianapolis 500 around the road course as part of the event’s tribute to fellow Scot Jim Clark at Goodwood.  It’s the second time that Franchitti has driven the car, which was conserved by the Henry Ford museum in Dearborn, Mich.  He last drove the car around IMS in 2010.  Sir Jackie Stewart and Franchitti are also backing plans for a new museum to celebrate the achievements of ex-Formula One driver Jim Clark.  The Jim Clark Trust wants to establish a dedicated museum housing cars, trophies and memorabilia and hopes the project will be completed in 2018. Sir Jackie has agreed to be honorary president while Franchitti is also supporting the museum.
 
Baltimore Race Rewind:  Franchitti qualified the No. 10 Honda 15th, before an engine change required him to start from the back of the field in the 24th starting spot.  Franchitti began the race strong, passing cars before a braking issue required an unscheduled pit stop on lap 8.  During the first caution on lap 13, Franchitti again pitted for front-brake issues, dropping him to 22nd (seven laps down).  The No. 10 team ended their day on lap 31 after pulling into the pit  lane island as a result of the ongoing braking issues, resulting in a 21st place finish.
 
Career at Houston:  In four starts at Houston (1998-2001), Franchitti earned one win (1998), three podiums and three top-five finishes. In total, he completed 271 of 370 laps and led for 73 laps overall.
 
In the Points:  With the results in Baltimore, Franchitti in seventh in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings with 388 markers, -113 points behind leader Castroneves.
 
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