IndyCar championship leader Scott Dixon believes Alex Tagliani was the best candidate to stand in for the injured Dario Franchitti in Ganassi’s lineup for the Fontana finale.
Franchitti was ruled out after suffering fractures to two vertebrae and his ankle in a crash at Houston last weekend. Dixon, who goes into Fontana with a 25 point lead over Helio Castroneves, says that Ganassi was right to recruit someone with Tagliani’s experience to serve as his temporary team-mate.
“It’s a tough situation for anybody to be in,” Dixon said. “Personally, I would have liked Dario to be there next weekend and to be in fighting spirits and helping me win the championship.
“But it’s nice to know that Dario is doing OK. He’s going to mend well, but obviously he can’t race at the moment and won’t be able to come out for a little bit.
“I think Tag was a solid choice; I think they picked the best guy. I’m great friends with Tag. We hang out a fair bit, and it makes it an easy transition. And obviously last year Alex was very fast at Fontana until he had a mechanical issue and exited the race, but he was running I think in first or second position for most of the latter parts of it.
“So, welcome to the team, he’s a good friend and a hell of a competitor, and he’s going to be tough to beat there next weekend.”