Honda MAVTV 500 IndyCar World Championship Talking Points

9/13/2012 3:47:00 PM

MAVTV 500 IndyCar World Championship
September 15, 2012
7:30 p.m. EDT
NBC Sports Network

COMPETITION

  • The 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series concludes with Saturday's MAVTV 500 INDYCAR World Championships, at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA.
  • This will mark INDYCAR's first appearance at Auto Club Speedway since 2005, when Dario Franchitti drove a Honda to victory during the most recent year of IndyCar Series multi-manufacturer competition prior to this season.
  • The 500-mile season finale will be contested under the lights on the two-mile, D-shaped Auto Club Speedway oval, with the final green flag of the 2012 season scheduled to wave at 8:50 p.m. EDT.
  • After winning the Indianapolis 500 with Franchitti, Honda comes to this weekend's race second in the Manufacturers' Championship, with 96 points, to 114 for Chevrolet. Lotus is third, with 56 points.
  • Honda's most recent IZOD IndyCar Series victory was recorded last month at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, where Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon posted his second win of the season at the Honda Indy 200.
  • Franchitti's victory at Indianapolis 500 was his third triumph at the Memorial Day weekend classic, and led a 1-2 for Target Chip Ganassi Racing, with teammate Dixon second. The '500' was the first of three consecutive victories for Honda-powered drivers in May and June.
  • One week after Indy, Dixon dominated the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, qualifying on the pole and leading every lap, followed by Franchitti in second and Schmidt Hamilton Racing's Simon Pagenaud third in a podium sweep for Honda in the "Motor City".
  • Honda-powered drivers finished 1-2 at Texas Motor Speedway in June. Justin Wilson claimed the victory after leader Graham Rahal brushed the Turn 4 wall with just two laps remaining. Rahal held on to finish second.

HONDA AT AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY

  • Including Franchitti's victory in 2005, Honda-powered IndyCar drivers have won three previous times at Auto Club Speedway, all in events featuring multi-manufacturer competition.
  • In 2004, Honda drivers swept the top three, and claimed five of the top six finishing positions. Team owner/driver Adrian Fernandez won the 200-lap event, followed by Tony Kanaan and the late Dan Wheldon, both driving for Andretti Green Racing. Buddy Rice finished fifth for Rahal Letterman Racing and Franchitti rounded out the top six.
  • In 1998, former series champion Jimmy Vasser won the 500-mile Championship Auto Racing Teams event in Fontana, with his Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate – and future paralympic gold medal winner – Alex Zanardi finishing third during his second consecutive CART championship season.