Day 1: Super Dario at the IndyCar World Series Championship

Fans eager to watch history in the making will pack Las Vegas Motor Speedway this Sunday as Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver Dario Franchitti competes in the No. 10 car for the IZOD IndyCar Series championship.

We took a pit stop to chat with Dario before practice began in Vegas yesterday.

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You’re aiming to become IndyCar’s first four-time champ heading into the Izod IndyCar Series here in Vegas. Is it hard to stay focused pre-race with all the surrounding hype?
Dario Franchitti: No, you just blank it out and focus on the job at hand. The whole Target team has to do this so we can be successful.

A record 34 cars have been entered in Sunday’s championship. How will this affect the race dynamic?
DF: It will make lapped cars more of a factor in the race. If you do get shuffled back in the pack, it will make it a lot more difficult to get back where we need to be.

What is your favorite race of the season?
DF: The Indianapolis Motor Speedway. There is nothing like competing in the biggest motor race in the world. But I will say I thought my best performance this season came at St. Petersburg, Fla. in the opening round of the season!

You’re quickly becoming a racing legend. Who are some drivers or racing legends that inspire you?
DF: My racing hero has always been the late Jim Clark from Scotland. He was an absolute legend in the golden era of racing. Jimmie Johnson from NASCAR is also a current driver that inspires everyone – winning five straight championships on any level is a huge accomplishment.

How do you relax when you’re traveling for a race?
DF: I like watching DVD’s on the iPad on the plane or listening to music. Either way, I always have my headphones on right when I sit down. I also like to read car magazines.

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Good luck to Dario and the entire Target Chip Ganassi Racing team!

Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images for IndyCar

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