Scott Dixon on course

LEXINGTON, Ohio -- Reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ran Hunter-Reay noted during a break in the Open Test on July 31 that the Target Chip Ganassi Racing drivers, Scott Dixon  and Dario Franchitti, were "dialed in" at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

They backed up that observation by placing 1-2 in the initial practice session on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.

Dixon, who has won the past two races at Mid-Ohio and four overall, topped the time sheet in the 45-minute session with a lap of 1 minute, 05.7096 seconds in the No. 9 Honda-powered car. Franchitti, who shares the track record with Gil de Ferran, was .0279 of a second back in the No. 10 entry.

Click it: Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Practice 1 results

Hunter-Reay, who was fastest in the Open Test in the No. 1 DHL car for Andretti Autosport, was third on the time sheet at 1:06.0464. Simon Pagenaud, driver of the No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports car, was fourth (1:06.1308) and James Hinchcliffe (1:06.2018) was fifth in the No. 27 car for Andretti Autosport.

Championship points leader Helio Castroneves was ninth on the time sheet. Luca Filippi, making his series debut in the No. 98 Barracuda Racing car, was 19th. James Davison, also making his series debut in the No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing car, was 21st.

Dixon has won the past three races to vault to second in the championship standings with six races remaining. Since the formation of INDYCAR in 1996, no driver has won four races in a row. Sebastien Bourdais won four consecutive events in the Champ Car World Series in 2006.

Last year, Will Power won three consecutive races early in the season (Barber, Long Beach and Sao Paulo) and then Hunter-Reay scored three in a row (Milwaukee, Iowa and Toronto). Dixon also won three in a row in the 2007 season.