It's not an ideal scenario with the injury to Dario Franchitti but Scott Dixon approves of the selection to have Alex Tagliani join him at Target Chip Ganassi Racing in the IZOD IndyCar Series season finale at Auto Club Speedway.
Franchitti was injured in a horrifying crash on the last lap of race No. 2 of the Shell and Penzoil Grand Prix of Houston. He was hospitalized until Thursday afternoon with a fractured spine and softened right ankle. Several fans were also injured when the Franchitti car climbed the catchfence, sending debris into the stands.
"As (Tagliani) has put out there before, it's a tough situation, and we would have liked Dario to be here this weekend and in fighting spirits," Dixon said Thursday in a teleconference. "Dario's doing OK. He'll mend well, but obviously can't race at the moment."
Dixon will try to close out on the Series championship next weekend at Auto Club, entering the event with a 25 point lead over Team Penske driver Helio Castroneves. As a result, finding a teammate that could work well with Dixon was a priority and it appears that they made a good choice according to the championship leader.
"Tag was a solid choice," Dixon said. "We don't have much control in situation like this, but Chip, Mike (Hull) and the rest of the team picked the best guy. I'm great friends with Tag, we hang out a fair bit, so it makes an easy transition.
"Last year Alex was very fast at Fontana until he had a mechanical issue," he added. "He ran first or second most of the night. "He's a good friend, hell of a competitor, and will be tough to beat."
This is the first time in their long careers that Tagliani and Dixon have been paired as teammates. Both drivers began their careers in the Champ Car World Series in 2000 and 2001 respectively.