O’Reilly Auto Parts 500



FORT WORTH, Texas (June 6, 2015) – Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon cruised to victory in Saturday night’s Firestone 600 that established a record for the fastest Verizon IndyCar Series race in the 19-year history of Texas Motor Speedway.

>Dixon (No. 9 Energizer Chip Ganassi Chevrolet) posted a 7.8-second margin of victory over runner-up and Ganassi Racing teammate Tony Kanaan (No. 10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Chevrolet) in the 27th Verizon IndyCar Series race at Texas that had a blistering average speed of 191.940 miles per hour.

The record average race speed obliterated the previous mark of 185.710 mph set in 2006 that was aided by just one 13-lap caution period for debris, which set a track series mark for fewest cautions in the accident-free race.

The win was Dixon’s second of the season as well as second at Texas Motor Speedway, with the other coming in 2008. He became just the fifth multiple Verizon IndyCar Series winner at Texas Motor Speedway, joining four-time winner Helio Castroneves, three-time winner Sam Hornish Jr. and two-time winners Scott Goodyear and Scott Sharp.

“It was fantastic!  As always, it’s good to have the cowboy hat on here in Texas and obviously getting the win,” Dixon said. “They (Chevrolet) brought a hell of a punch here with power and the efficiency of the aero kit they’ve got.  It always feels fast at Texas with the speeds we’re running here at over 220 miles per hour on the straights. You knew with the lack of yellows it was going to be a quick race and for me, when you’re out leading, you obviously don’t want any yellows.”

Team Penske appeared at the outset of the 248-lap event that it could be the organization’s night with defending series champion Will Power (No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet) on the pole and teammate Simon Pagenaud (No. 22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet) strong in the early going.

Team Penske, paced by Pagenaud’s 59 laps led, led the first 66 laps and 82 of the first 102 before Kanaan and Dixon began to show their muscle. Dixon took his first lead on Lap 139 and relinquished it through pit stop cycles. Dixon made his final pit stop with 20 laps to go and when he came out he regained his final lead from Charlie Kimball (No. 83 Levemir FlexPen Chevrolet) and led the final 19 laps en route to the victory. Dixon led a race-high 97 laps, the second most he has led at Texas in 16 career starts.

“It was really just about keeping up with the car,” said Dixon, who moved past Al Unser Jr. and Ryan Briscoe and into fifth place for career laps led at Texas with 353. “At the start of the race, we just had too much understeer; it was too hard in traffic.  Later on, we just keep adding a bit of front wing and changing the tire pressures.  Each pit stop, we changed the car a little bit, we kept up on top of it and once we got it on the rails the car was super-fast. The pit stops were phenomenal.  Every time we came in and left we gained time.”

Chevrolet exhibited its strength again as the engine manufacturer won for the seventh time in nine races and swept the top four positions in the Firestone 600. Following Dixon and Kanaan was the Team Penske duo of Castroneves (No. 3 AAA Insurance Team Penske Chevrolet) and reigning Indy 500 champion Juan Pablo Montoya (No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet), respectively.  Marco Andretti (No. 27 Snapple Honda) rounded out the top five.

Montoya exits the Firestone 600 extending his Verizon IndyCar Series championship points lead to 35, 348-313, over Power while Dixon is third at 305.

About the author

The Texas Motor Speedway Media Relations Department is located on the 6th floor of The Speedway Club outside of Turn 1 of the speedway. 

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