High 5: Chip Ganassi Racing’s win streak at Mid-Ohio (VIDEO)

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As the second half of this year’s Verizon IndyCar Series season has progressed, Chip Ganassi Racing has been getting back toward its usual, front-running form.

Tony Kanaan has led CGR’s resurgence with three consecutive podium finishes (third at Iowa, third and second at Toronto). Now, the series heads this weekend for Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, where CGR has been undefeated since 2009.

Just as Andretti Autosport practically owns the deed to Iowa Speedway, so it goes for CGR at the old-school road course in the Ohio countryside.

With the Honda 200 at Mid-Ohio coming up on Sunday (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra), now seems a good time to look back on CGR’s half-decade of dominance at this particular track.

2009 – Dixon makes history

Ganassi’s win streak at Mid-Ohio began in 2009, when Scott Dixon earned his 20th Verizon IndyCar Series victory and broke a tie with Sam Hornish Jr. for the series’ all-time wins record.

Justin Wilson had been in hot pursuit of Dixon in mid-race, but Wilson’s bid for victory halted when he stalled his car on a late-race stop. Dixon went unchallenged for the remainder of the race and won by 29.7 seconds over Ryan Briscoe (then with Team Penske).

2010 – Dario shuts down Power

After Dario Franchitti beat Will Power out of the pits on Lap 60 of 85, they engaged in a duel to the finish following a restart with 15 laps to go. But despite Power’s best efforts across the hilly circuit, Franchitti was able to hold on by just a little more than half a second.

The win was Franchitti’s first and only victory at Mid-Ohio throughout his legendary driving career.

2011 – Dixon wins from the pole

After James Hinchcliffe gave up the lead to pit on Lap 53, Dixon and Franchitti followed suit a few laps later. Then a caution involving Graham Rahal and Danica Patrick came out, setting up a restart at Lap 60 in which Dixon took the lead from Franchitti with an inside move.

That proved to be the turning point of the race, as Dixon went on to earn his second win in three years at Mid-Ohio.

2012 – Late pit stop all the difference for Dixon

On the tightest pit road in all of the Verizon IndyCar Series, Dixon was able to get by Power for the lead when they pitted together on Lap 57 of 85.

When Dixon got to the point, he pulled away to a gap of several seconds and retained it for the rest of the afternoon, beating Power by 3.4 seconds at the stripe.

2013 – Kimball scores his first IndyCar win

With 17 laps to go, American driver Charlie Kimball passed Simon Pagenaud for the lead and went on to earn his first IndyCar checkered flag one day after crashing his car in a practice session.

The win marked a breakthrough for Kimball, who had been the most unheralded driver in IndyCar’s rookie class of 2011 but had made steady improvements in his race craft leading up to his big moment.

Street race in Vietnam could lead Formula One’s Asia expansion

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TOKYO (AP) — Formula One is expected to add more races in Asia, including a street circuit in the capital of Vietnam, a country with little auto racing history that is on the verge of getting a marquee event.

“We think Hanoi could come on in the next couple of years, and we’re working with the Hanoi government to that end,” Sean Bratches, Formula One’s managing director of commercial operations, told the Associated Press.

There is even speculation it could be on the schedule next season, which Bratches rebuffed.

Vietnam would join countries like Azerbaijan, Russia and Bahrain, which have Grand Prix races, little history in the sport, and authoritarian governments with deep pockets that serve F1 as it tries to expand into new markets.

“This (Hanoi) is a street race where we can go downtown, where we can activate a large fan base,” Bratches said. “And you have extraordinary iconography from a television standpoint.”

A second race in China is also likely and would join Shanghai on the F1 calendar. Bratches said deciding where to stage the GP will “be left to local Chinese partners” – Beijing is a strong candidate.

Bratches runs the commercial side of Formula One, which was acquired last year by U.S.-based Liberty Media from long-time operator Bernie Ecclestone.

Formula One’s long-term goal is to have 24-25 races – up from the present 21 – and arrange them in three geographical segments: Asia, Europe and the Americas. Bratches said the Europe-based races would stay in middle of the calendar, with Asia or the Americas opening or ending the season.

He said their positioning had not been decided, and getting this done will be slowed by current contracts that mandate specific places on the calendar for several races. This means eventually that all the races in Asia would be run together, as would races in Europe and the Americas.

The F1 schedule is now an inefficient jumble, allowing Bratches to take a good-natured poke at how the sport was run under Ecclestone.

“We’ve acquired an undermanaged asset that’s 67-years-old, but effectively a start-up,” Bratches said.

Early-season races in Australia and China this year were conducted either side of a trip to Bahrain in the Middle East. Late in the season Formula One returns to Asia with races in Japan and Singapore.

The Canadian GP this season is run in the middle of the European swing, separated by four months from the other races in the Americas – the United States, Mexico and Brazil. These three are followed by the season-ending race in Abu Dhabi, which means another trip across the globe.

“With the right economics, with the right structure and cadence of events across territories, 24 or 25 is probably where we’d like to be from a longer-term standpoint,” Bratches said.

Big changes are not likely to happen until the 2020 season ends. This is when many current rules and contracts expire as F1’s new owners try to redistribute some income to allow smaller teams to compete.

“There’s more interest than we have capacity in the schedule,” Bratches said, firing off Berlin, Paris or London as potentially attractive venues. “We want to be very selective.”

“Those cites from an economic impact standpoint would find us value, as do others around the world,” Bratches added. “It’s very important for us as we move forward to go to locations that are a credit to the Formula One brand.”

An expanded schedule would have to be approved by the teams, which will be stretched by the travel and the wear-and-tear on their crews. The burden will fall on the smaller teams, which have significantly smaller revenue compared with Ferrari, Mercedes or Red Bull.

Bratches also envisions another race in the U.S., joining the United States Grand Prix held annually in Austin, Texas. A street race in Miami is a strong candidate, as are possible venues like Las Vegas or New York.

“We see the United States and China as countries that could support two races,” he said.

Liberty Media has reported Formula One’s total annual revenue at $1.8 billion, generated by fees paid by promoters, broadcast rights, advertising and sponsorship. Race promotion fees also tend to be higher in Asia, which makes the area attractive – along with a largely untapped fan base.

In a four-year cycle, F1 generates more revenue than FIFA or the International Olympic Committee, which rely almost entirely on one-time showcase events.

Reports suggest Vietnamese promoters may pay between $50-60 million annually as a race fee, with those fees paid by the government. Bratches said 19 of 21 Formula One races are supported by government payments.

“The race promotion fee being derived from the government … is a model that has worked historically,” Bratches said.