Dallas Motorsports: Alex Tagliani

Reaction: Justin Wilson wins in wild finish

June, 9, 2012
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Justin Wilson took the lead with two laps to go and held on for his first victory since 2009, winning Saturday's Firestone 550. Graham Rahal appeared in control, taking the lead with 29 laps left, but he grazed the wall with three laps remaining and Wilson was able to take the lead at that point.

It was a tough break for Rahal, who was close to getting his first win since 2008 as his father, Bobby Rahal, watched from Chip Ganassi Racing's pit box.

"I just messed up, honestly," Rahal said on the TV broadcast just after the race. "It just washed out a little bit and it's my fault. There's not much else I can say. I'm certainly disappointed because we had that one. This one will haunt me forever, that's for sure."

What it means: Wilson wins his seventh career race, his first since 2009. Before Saturday, his best finish was seventh in the Indy 500.

Notes on the leader: Wilson's previous best finish at TMS was 15th in 2009. ... It's the second IndyCar victory for Dale Coyne with Wilson's victory at Watkins Glen in 2009 as the only other one.

Late lead changes: The race, which for portions was a follow-the-leader event, got pretty exciting with 50 laps to go as several drivers couldn't hold the lead for too long. Scott Dixon was the first to go (hit the wall), followed by Will Power (penalty) and Ryan Briscoe (who gave up lead to hard-charging Graham Rahal) and finally Wilson.

Penalty for Power: With the lead in hand, Power was given a drive-through penalty for blocking Tony Kanaan with about 40 laps. Power gave up the lead because of the penalty, which ended up damaging the front wing of Kanaan's car. It was clear that Power was reacting to Kanaan trying to get around him, leaving IndyCar officials little choice but to penalize him.

Dixon loses lead, then car: Dixon, who led the most laps and for much of the race had the dominant car, started to fall off on lap times a bit with less than 60 to go and gave up the lead to Power. Shortly after dropping to second, Dixon wiggled into Turn 4, spun out and hit the wall. Dixon came into the race 26 points behind leader Power in the standings and leaves losing more ground. "We just got loose," Dixon said on the race broadcast after exiting the race. "I feel bad for the guys. We had a really good car and had a good chance to win tonight."

Delayed start because of injury: A worker at TMS, Richard Huggins, was taken out on a stretcher after part of the stage used for driver introductions fell on him. Huggins was treated and released from the Infield Care Cente, but it took extra time to get him there, making the race a few minutes late.

Not working: Rubens Barrichello's Chevrolet and Simona de Silvestro's Lotus engines didn't fire on pit road when the command was given and they did not start the race when the green flag dropped. Neither driver ended up starting the race.

Cautions: Charlie Kimball brought out the first caution flag on Lap 29 as he spun in Turn 4 and into the wall, ending up in the grass near the entrance of pit road. ... Takuma Sato spun on the backstretch and went into the wall on Lap 64. ... Ryan Hunter-Reay lost power, ending his race before 70 laps were complete. ... Josef Newgarden was given a drive-through penalty in the pits for entering the wrong pit box. Newgarden missed his box, causing issues for others, including Helio Castroneves, who was delayed because he couldn't get in his box.

Up and down day: Kanaan came into the pits and had trouble because a rear air jack failed during the first set of stops (Lap 36). The team tried to use a different jack and damaged the front wing and had to put a new one on. He came back to the pits to have additional work done, falling close to the rear of the field. ... Kanaan did manage to keep tracking toward the front and got himself back in the race and was running third with about 40 laps left until he touched the back of Power's car when Power moved down to block him. That damaged his front wing and forced him to the pits and back to the middle of the pack. ... Kanaan ended up 11th.

Franchitti handling issues: Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti wasn't happy with his handling and he spent extra time in the pits so the crew could make some substantial changes to the car. He went to the rear of the field during the first caution and tried to work his way back up. He finished 14th.

Tidbits: A.J. Foyt gave the command to start the engines before the race, saying: "Boys and girls, start your engines." ... This is third straight race at TMS that Alex Tagliani led. He led 33 laps in 2010, one lap in the first race in 2011 and the first 20 laps of Saturday's race. ... Dixon led on Saturday, meaning he's led in six of seven races this season. The only race he hasn't led was Long Beach. ... Dixon clinched the two bonus points for most laps led on Lap 130.

Up next: The IndyCar Series heads to Milwaukee next weekend for the Milwaukee IndyFest 225. Franchitti is the defending champion.

Firestone 550: Scott Dixon leads after 50 laps

June, 9, 2012
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Scott Dixon, driver of the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, is leading after 50 laps in the IZOD IndyCar Series Firestone 550 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Dixon, who has led in six of seven races this season, took over the lead from Alex Tagliani, who opened the race in the first position, in Lap 22.

The first caution of the night came in the 31st lap of the race, but Dixon held on to the lead coming out of pit road. Restart came in Lap 40.

No. 38 Graham Rahal, who started the night in third spot, is currently in second.

Rounding out the top five is No. 27 James Hinchcliffe, No. 26 Marco Andretti and No. 2 Ryan Briscoe.

Tagliani has fallen to eighth-place, while Dario Franchitti, winner of the Indy 500, sits in 22nd place.

Alex Tagliani takes IndyCar pole at TMS

June, 8, 2012
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Alex Tagliani took the pole in the qualifier for the IZOD IndyCar Series Firestone 550 at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday.

Tagliani, who drives the No. 98 Team Barracuda-BHA Honda, took his first pole since his last race at TMS in 2011. He finished in 48.0695 seconds (215.691 mph) to overtake No. 10 Dario Franchitti, who had led for most of the qualifier.

Tagliani said that he feels comfortable with the track at TMS and the style of racing it allows.

“Some drivers had a problem with their second lap and we were very consistent,” Tagliani said. “We are very happy to start up front and I’d like to think that we will be a threat in the race tomorrow.”

Tagliani is currently ranked 24th in the Series and has yet to win a race this year.

Franchitti finished in 48.5797 seconds (215.646 mph) and will start on the outside of row 1. He also said he was pleased with the track at TMS.

“We went actually quicker than I thought we would,” Franchitti said. “The guys did a really good job of it and it’s definitely the most, the hardest qualifying that I've done here with that level of downforce and that level of grip.”

Franchitti, currently ranked fourth, won the Indianapolis 500 this year and won the first of the two IndyCar races run on the same day last year at TMS.

Dario Franchitti opens doubleheader with win

June, 11, 2011
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Dario Franchitti held off teammate Scott Dixon in a 10-lap shootout Saturday night to win the first of two races at Texas Motor Speedway's Firestone Twin 275s, the first doubleheader in major open-wheel racing in 30 years.

Franchitti finished 0.0527 seconds ahead of Dixon, with the Target Chip Ganassi teammates ahead of Will Power and polesitter Alex Tagliani.

The 114-lap race on the 1½-mile track was on a blistering pace of more than 207 mph, which would have been the fastest in IndyCar Series history, before the Indianapolis 500-winning car driven by rookie Wade Cunningham, not Dan Wheldon, was involved in a crash to set up the final sprint.

There was an abbreviated celebration between races for Franchitti's 28th career victory.

Alex Tagliani wins second straight pole

June, 10, 2011
FORT WORTH -- Sitting in the 24th position heading into qualifiers at Texas Motor Speedway, Alex Tagliani finished the day as the pole leader for his second consecutive IndyCar series race.

Tagliani took the top spot during the Indianapolis 500’s Bump Day and duplicated the same success for the Firestone Twin 275’s first race Saturday. He timed 48.6834 seconds at 215.186 miles per hour.

Dario Franchitti will be next to Tagliani on Row 1 on Saturday, jumping from 20th to second place. Fanchitti finished .0872 seconds behind Tagliani at 214.801 mph.

Will Power, who ranked first after the first practice session, will be behind Tagliani in Row 2. He’ll be next to Takuma Soto, who made the biggest improvement on the day from 30th to fourth place with an average speed of 214.470 mph, .1627 seconds behind Tagliani.

Defending polesitter Ryan Briscoe will be alongside fellow Andretti Motorsport teammate Danica Patrick on Row 5 for the first race.

Out of the 21 IndyCar series races held at TMS, six pole winners have gone on to win the race. Briscoe was the last to do it in 2010.

The final practice is scheduled to start at 6:45 p.m. followed by the NCWTS WinStar World Casino 400 at TMS tonight.