Dixon jumps to second with Belle Isle win

IRL headlines:1.      Dixon jumps to second with Belle Isle win2.      Inside the Box Score - Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix3.      Kanaan takes on Eldora for charity at Prelude to the Dream1. Dixon jumps to second with Belle Isle win: The maximum 53 points acquired by Scott Dixon in winning the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix from the pole has tightened the IZOD IndyCar Series championship race for the second consecutive week.Dixon, a two-time series champion, jumped to second in the standings after six events with the 50 points for his first victory of the season plus three bonus points for the pole start and leading the most laps. Will Power, who finished fourth, had taken a 36-point advantage over teammate Helio Castroneves and James Hinchcliffe of Andretti Autosport.Power carries a 26-point lead over Dixon into the Firestone 550 on June 9 at Texas Motor Speedway, with Castroneves falling 55 points back after finishing 17th at Belle Isle because of contact on Lap 48 of 60 while running fifth.There are 10 races left, including the next three on three different ovals - the 1.5-mile, high-banked Texas track, the relatively flat Milwaukee Mile on June 16 and the .875-mile Iowa Speedway on June 23."There's no doubt that the last two weekends have been a big jump for us in the championship, and I think team morale," said Dixon, who was runner-up to Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Dario Franchitti a week earlier in the Indianapolis 500."We go into every weekend to try our best and we try to achieve the maximum that we can. I'll continue on and hopefully we can ride a bit of a wave. Will has still got a fairly decent lead. So second and (Franchitti) fourth in the championship now for us, we are not out of reach. That's the main thing. We still have a fighting chance and I think between Team Target and Honda, we are definitely going to be pushing as hard as we can."Power, who has finished second to Franchitti in the championship the past two years, had won the previous three road/street course races."There is plenty to learn from (the Belle Isle race) to come back better next week," he said. "We are still leading the championship and I'm looking forward to getting back on the ovals."Each of the top four in the standings have won at Texas Motor Speedway -- Dixon in 2008, Power in 2011 (his first oval victory in the second of the doubleheader races), Castroneves in 2009, '06 and '04, and Franchitti in the first race of the doubleheader last year. Dixon was the runner-up in both 2011 races at the track.Sixteen of Dixon's 28 IZOD IndyCar Series wins have been on ovals.2. Inside the Box Score - Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix: Numbers to note following the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, the sixth of 16 events of the 2012 IZOD Indy Car Series season.2.8 - Average finishing position for Will Power in the five oval races in 2012.3 - Finishing position of Simon Pagenaud in his first IZOD IndyCar Series start at Belle Isle. Pagenaud also finished third in his only sports car start at Belle Isle in 2008.4 - Drivers to finish every race this season - Ed Carpenter, Dario Franchitti, Simon Pagenaud and E.J. Viso.6 - Different teams represented in the top 10 in the IZOD IndyCar Series standings…Straight seasons with at least one pole position for Scott Dixon.8 - Straight seasons with at least one win for Scott Dixon.9 - Different drivers to finish on the podium in the first six races of 2012.16 - Starting position of Dario Franchitti. The only other driver to win from 16th position was Dan Wheldon in 2005.12 - Positions gained by Dario Franchitti en route to his runner-up finish at Belle Isle. It was Franchitti's third-straight top-five finish. Tony Kanaan and Charlie Kimball also gained 12 positions in finishing sixth and eight, respectively.26 - Points separating Will Power (232) from Scott Dixon (206) in the IZOD IndyCar Series championship standings.28 - Indy car wins for Scott Dixon, putting him one behind Rick Mears for 10th on the all-time victory list.73 - Positions gained by Servia in the first six races of 2012. (An average of 12.1 positions per race). Servia gained 11 spots to finish fifth at Belle Isle.110 - Top five finishes for Dario Franchitti in his Indy car racing career.187 - Consecutive Indy car starts for Tony Kanaan dating to the 2001 CART race in Portland.196 - Laps led by Scott Dixon in 2012. Dixon has led five of the six races in 2012, only failing to lead a lap at Long Beach.3. Kanaan takes on Eldora for charity at Prelude to the Dream: Testing between consecutive IZOD IndyCar Series race weekends, sponsor appearances, meetings and travel conspired to keep Tony Kanaan off the Eldora Speedway half-mile clay oval to prepare for his third appearance June 6 in the Prelude To The Dream, but that won't stop him from competing in the race again.The all-star Late Model race features renowned drivers from multiple motorsports disciplines competing for personal satisfaction. Net proceeds from the HBO pay-per-view live telecast will benefit Feed The Children, a U.S.-based charity thatdomestically has helped more than 365,000 families since 2009 through its Americans Feeding Americans Caravan."It's always a pleasure to come back, and unfortunately we don't have a lot of time to test," Kanaan said of the one-day event. "I can't thank (track owner and event organizer) Tony (Stewart) enough for inviting me. I always enjoy it and look forward to it again."Kanaan, the 2004 IZOD IndyCar Series champion, had driven on road and street course and diverse ovals before jumping in the 2,300-pound No. 11 GEICO-sponsored Late Model car on the half-mile Eldora Speedway. It was a new learning curve. He's finished 24th and 27th the past two years."It's only two times that I've raced those cars on that type of track, but my mentality is to have fun and get INDYCAR out there in an environment that's not ours," he said.The eighth edition includes hot laps, qualifying, heat races and a 40-lpa feature with double-file restarts. Former IZOD IndyCar Series driver Danica Patrick - a one-time teammate of Kanaan -- is among the first-time participants."We have the most diverse group of drivers we've ever had for the Prelude, and for the first time, the Prelude will be broadcast in high-definition," said Stewart, a three-time winner of the Prelude To The Dream. "This year's event is going to be a can't-miss show. We've added 10 laps to the feature and partnered with a great charity in Feed The Children."***The next IZOD IndyCar Series race is the Firestone 550K on June 9 at Texas Motor Speedway.  The race will be televised by NBC Sports Network at 8 p.m. (ET) and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network on SiriusXM (XM 94 and Sirius 212). The next Firestone Indy Lights race is the Milwaukee 100 on June 15 at The Milwaukee Mile. The race will be televised by NBC Sports Network at 5 p.m. (ET) on June 21. NBC Sports Network coverage of the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix will be televised at 5 p.m. on June 7.

Related Motorsport Articles

82,928 articles