Firestone 550, Texas Motor Speedway
June 9, 2012
• For the second consecutive race, Honda-powered Target Chip Ganassi Racing drivers finished 1-2 at Sunday’s Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. Scott Dixon dominated the event, qualifying on the pole and leading every lap for his first victory of 2012, followed by his teammate and Indianapolis 500 champion, Dario Franchitti. The pair also finished 1-2 at last month’s Indianapolis 500, with Franchitti winning ahead of Dixon.
• Simon Pagenaud made it a 1-2-3 finish for Honda in Detroit, finishing on the victory podium for the second time this season with a third-place run for Schmidt Hamilton Racing.
• The 2012 season marks the return of manufacturer competition to the IZOD IndyCar Series after six years of Honda serving as single engine supplier. Chevrolet and Lotus now join Honda in providing engines to the 25-car starting field.
• Honda comes to this weekend’s race second in the Manufacturers’ Championship, with 42 points, to 48 for Chevrolet. Lotus is third, with 24 points.
• With his Detroit victory, Dixon is second in the drivers’ championship standings, with 206 points to series leader Will Power’s 232 points. Indy 500 winner Franchitti is fourth in the championship with 176 points, while Pagenaud comes to Texas ranked sixth with 171 points. Pagenaud also leads the Rookie of the Year standings, with Honda driver Josef Newgarden second (87 points).
• Dixon has led more laps this season, 196, than any other driver, including all 60 laps atmDetroit, and race-high totals of 37 laps at St. Petersburg and 38 at Barber. Power is ranked second with 111 laps led.
• Honda-powered drivers have led 330 laps this season, while Chevrolet drivers have led a total of 126 laps. Race lap leaders for Honda include Dixon (196), Takuma Sato (58), Franchitti (29), Pagenaud (26), Justin Wilson (15), Charlie Kimball (3), Alex Tagliani (2) and Graham Rahal (1).
Honda’s popular “Fastest Seat in Sports” sweepstakes makes its seventh stop of the 2012 season at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. Legendary racer Mario Andretti will take Jeff Cox of Dayton, Ohio for the ride of a lifetime around the high-banked 1.5- mile oval in a two-seater IndyCar, in advance of the green flag for Saturday night’s race. Interested fans can find out more information on the “Fastest Seat in Sports” at shophonda.com.
HONDA HISTORY AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
• Honda has won eight times in 12 IndyCar Series races at Texas Motor Speedway, both as the single engine supplier to the series and against other engine manufacturers.
• Honda scored its first win at Texas in June, 2004, with Tony Kanaan leading a 1-2 finish for Honda and Andretti Green Racing. Teammate Dario Franchitti finished second. Other Honda-powered winners at Texas include Franchitti and Power (in twin events held in 2012), Helio Castroneves (2006 and ‘09), Sam Hornish Jr. (2007), Scott Dixon (2008), and Ryan Briscoe (2010).
HONDA CIVIC Si PACE AND SAFETY CARS
• A fleet of new 2012 Honda Civic Si coupes and sedans is being utilized for Safety Car and Pace Car duties in the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series. The Civic Si Coupe made its debut as an IZOD IndyCar Series Safety Car at last year’s Honda Indy Toronto. That first Civic has now been joined by additional coupes and sedans, replacing the Honda Accords formerly used by the series. The Civic Si Safety Car and Pace Cars will make their next IZOD IndyCar Series appearance at next weekend’s Milwaukee IndyFest in West Allis, WI.
• Cars start out as standard Civic Si models, and one coupe has been developed into an IndyCar Series Safety Car by Honda Performance Development in Santa Clarita, Calif.”
• Modifications installed at HPD include Sparco seats and four-point racing harnesses; an HPD high-performance brake system, with four-piston calipers, competition rotors, racing pads, and stainless brake lines; a Honda Genuine Accessory aerodynamic body kit, consisting of front, side and rear under spoilers; Firestone Firehawk 225/40 R18 tires mounted on Enkei alloy wheels, and an IZOD IndyCar Series graphics package.