Target-Sponsored Race Cars Take 1st and 2nd in Indy 500

Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon—both of whom are sponsored by Target—were the first two drivers to reach the checkered flag.

The signature Target bullseye was on display both on the track and on the winners’ podium at Sunday’s Indy 500, as two race cars sponsored by the Minneapolis-based company were the first and second to cross the finish line.

Driver Dario Franchitti led 23 laps during the Indianapolis race and took first place. He was followed by teammate Scott Dixon, who came in second. Tony Kanaan came in third, driving a car adorned with Geico and Mouser Electronics logos.

During the race, Franchitti drove the number 50 car—rather than his usual number 10—in honor of Target’s 50-year anniversary, which is being celebrated this month.

The win represents the fourth time a Target-sponsored driver has won the Indy 500: Juan Pablo Montoya won in 2000, Dixon won in 2008, and Franchitti won in 2010.

The last time two teammates finished in first and second places in the race was in 2003, when Gil de Ferran beat Penske teammate Helio Castroneves to the checkered flag, according to the Indy 500’s website.

According to a report by USA Today, Franchitti on Sunday honored Dan Wheldon while on the winners’ podium. Wheldon, who was once a member of the Target team, won the Indy 500 last year but was killed in a crash during an October race.

Several Minnesota companies sponsor professional race car drivers. A story in the May issue of Twin Cities Business looked at five locally based companies (including Target) that sponsored racers in the Daytona 500 and explored whether success in Nascar races is a harbinger of corporate stock performance. To read the story, click here.