Dixon, Dario sweep Toronto front row for 2nd race
TORONTO (AP) — Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti came to Toronto with the message “Target Loves Canada” featured proudly on both their cars and their firesuits.
So far, the slogan rings true.
The Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammates swept the front row in qualifying for Sunday’s race, the second in a doubleheader weekend at Exhibition Place.
Dixon won the pole in Saturday’s qualifying, knocking teammate Franchitti from the top spot when he made his laps during the second group.
A day earlier, Franchitti won the pole for Saturday’s first race.
It comes after last weekend’s breakthrough moment for the team as Dixon led a 1-2-3 podium sweep at Pocono. Charlie Kimball finished second at Pocono and Franchitti third as the team picked up its first win of the season and first podium sweep for Ganassi drivers in any series.
It was also the 100th win for Target, which is celebrating this weekend the recent openings of the first Target Canada stores in the country.
“Obviously Pocono was a big deal for us, 1-2-3, because we had been struggling so much,” Franchitti said. “But I wouldn’t make too much of (momentum). We did a test at Sebring when everybody else was (testing) at Pocono, and I think we learned some stuff there.
“But if there is some momentum, we’ll definitely take it because it’s better to be on an upward swing than a downward swing.”
Dixon was surprised to get the pole.
“I saw the first or second lap time, and I said, ‘Wow, that’s a lot quicker than I thought,’” Dixon said, adding he had an issue in Friday qualifying when “I gave up a ton of time. It’s nice to reward ourselves with the pole.”
IndyCar points leader Helio Castroneves qualified third and was followed by defending series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay and Will Power.
Power grazed the wall during the second group and a banner got snagged under his car during his qualifying lap. It eventually flapped off but landed on the nose of Sebastian Bourdais’ car. At roughly the same time, James Jakes slammed into a tire barrier as the session came to an interesting end.