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Apr 23, 2014 - 08:55 PM
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2014 Barber Park: Ganassi IndyCar Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Apr 23, 2014 - 08:54 PM
IndyCar Weekend Team Reports
2014 Barber Park: Ganassi IndyCar Race Preview


RACE SETUP

Race: Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, April 27
Drivers: @scottdixon9 @tonykanaan
Cars: No. 9 Target Chevrolet and No. 10 GE Reveal Chevrolet
Track: Barber Motorsports Park (2.38-mile road course) in Birmingham, Ala.
TV: NBC Sports Network 2:30pm ET
Social: @CGRTeams #TeamTarget

 

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BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW THAT

Southern Comfort: Out of eight starts in the Grand Prix of Alabama between 2010 and 2013, Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR) has finished on the podium six times (second – four times, third – twice).

Reliable Racing: In their four years (2010-2013) of competing in the Grand Prix of Alabama, Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan have completed 719 out of a possible 720 laps at Barber Motorsports Park.

Title Talk: Should reigning Verizon IndyCar Series Champion Scott Dixon take home the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series title, he would become the fifth driver to win four Indy car titles (AJ Foyt, Mario Andretti, Sebastien Bourdais, Dario Franchitti). Dixon won the title in 2003, 2008 and again in 2013.

100+ Wins and Counting…: The Target Racing Program, which began with Target and Chip Ganassi Racing in 1990, will be contending for their 104th win as the season progresses. The first win for the program came in 1994 with Michael’s Andretti’s Indy car victory at Surfers Paradise, Australia, when the team was a two-car, Indy car program. 102 wins later, the program’s umbrella not only includes involvement in the Verizon IndyCar Series, but in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. The partnership between Target and Chip Ganassi Racing is one of the longest consecutive team partnerships in motor racing history.

Fast Fitness: Sporting their C9 by Champion for Target apparel, Dixon and Kanaan spent part of the days leading up to the Grand Prix of Long Beach showing Men’s Fitness what goes into the workout routine of a Verizon IndyCar Series driver. Accompanied by Target celebrity trainers Ryan Harber and Adam Rosante, the pair demonstrated that they have to be as well-oiled and fine-tuned as their cars beneath them in order to keep up with the muscular, respiratory and cardiovascular demands placed on them during a race.

Dario Returns: Four-time Verizon IndyCar Series Champion and three-time Indianapolis 500 Winner Dario Franchitti returns to Team Target in 2014 as a driving advisor for Chip Ganassi Racing Teams. Franchitti will aid the team as it adapts to recent lineup changes and additions, and was on site with the team at the Barber Motorsports Park Open Test last month. He will continue to work closely with the teams’ Verizon IndyCar Series drivers throughout the duration of the season.

The Silver Lining: In celebration of their 25th year together, Target and Chip Ganassi Racing will be entering three specially-liveried cars into races on May 25. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rookie Kyle Larson will drive a silver No. 42 Chevrolet in the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte, matching Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan’s No. 9 and 10 cars which will be entered the Indianapolis 500 earlier in the day. The silver cars were revealed at a special celebration thrown by Target in Las Vegas on March 7th where all three drivers were in attendance.

A Walk On The Wild Side: Franchitti was inducted into the Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame earlier this month alongside industry legends Gerald Forsythe and Kevin Kalkhoven. The ninth annual induction ceremony was held in front of the Convention Center, along the route of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Mayor Bob Foster presented medallions to the honorees. The Walk of Fame medallions included renditions of the racers' cars and their major achievements in motorsports.

Topping the Charts: Dixon and Kanaan rank first and fifth, respectively, in the number of victories among active full-time drivers in the Verizon IndyCar Series. Dixon is ranked seventh on the all-time wins list with 33 victories. Reigning Indianapolis 500 Winner Kanaan has 16 victories.

Finding New Roads: All four Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) Indy cars are utilizing the Chevrolet 2.2-liter twin turbocharged V6 engine for 2014 season. The engine produces well over 600 horsepower and close to 300 lb. ft. of torque.

#TEAMGANASSI

Follow Team Target on Twitter: Continue to follow Target Chip Ganassi Racing through Chip Ganassi Racing’s official team Twitter page. Find in-race updates and weekly news on the No.9 and No.10 Target teams throughout the 2014 season by following ���œ@CGRTeams”.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR BARBER MOTORSPORTS PARK

Scott Dixon and No. 9 Target Team

Dixon Dixie Deuces: Dixon has finished the Grand Prix of Alabama in second place in all four of his starts (2010-2013), acquiring 162 points, second only to Will Power with 167 points. Since 1956, the only other time a driver has finished second four consecutive times at the same track was at Chicagoland Speedway, and once again was Dixon (2006-2009).

The Ice Man Returns: The three-time Verizon IndyCar Series Champion (2003, 2008, 2013) and 2008 Indianapolis 500 Winner returns in 2014 for his first season alongside 2004 Series Champion and 2013 Indianapolis 500 Winner Kanaan. Dixon, the active wins leader, is in seventh place on the all-time list (1909-Present) with 33 victories, ranking only behind A.J. Foyt, the Andretti’s (Mario and Michael) and Unser’s (Al, Bobby and Al Jr.). His next pole (21st) will see him tied for 13th on the all-time list with Gil De Ferran.

The Best Defense Is A Good Offense: Dixon will spend the 2014 season attempting his first successful defense of a Verizon IndyCar Series title. "I think it's obviously a good problem to have," Dixon said. "I've been in this situation a couple of times before… I think we need to focus on making a good start in the first three or four races." His closest effort so far came in 2009 when he finished second to teammate Dario Franchitti by a mere 11 points. If Dixon is successful, he will become the 14th driver to have at least two consecutive series championships.

Moving Forward: With his next victory, Dixon would tie Al Unser Jr. for sixth on the all-time wins list. Dixon won his 33rd race at Houston's Reliant Park in October 2013. A victory in 2014 will extend Dixon’s streak of consecutive seasons with a win to 10; while qualifying in the top spot would mark eight consecutive seasons with a pole. He has led at least one race for 12 consecutive seasons. Dixon has 159 consecutive starts, placing him in sixth on the all-time list and in second place behind teammate Kanaan for active drivers.

Go with What you Know: 2014 marks Dixon’s 13th year with Team Target – the longest tenure for a driver in team history (1990-Present).

Tony Kanaan and No. 10 GE Reveal Team

TK Joins The Team: 2004 Verizon IndyCar Series Champion and 2013 Indianapolis 500 Winner Kanaan joins TCGR in 2014 for his first season alongside three-time Champion and 2008 Indianapolis 500 Winner Dixon. Kanaan has 16 career wins and 15 poles entering the 2014 season, and will seek to add to his record for consecutive Indy car starts, which is at 217. Only three other active drivers (Dixon, Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay) possess a streak of more than 100 consecutive starts. Competing in every race will push his career starts total to 295 – which would be good enough for ninth on the all-time list. Kanaan has 112 career top-five finishes and is tied for the title of active leader with Helio Castroneves.

Tony In Texas: On April 16th, Kanaan was at Texas Motor Speedway along with Dixon for a test session before the Grand Prix of Alabama. The pair were disappointed that Big Hoss, the world’s largest video board, wasn’t active during the session. “It’s cool to see the big TV,” Dixon said. “But it probably cost too much money to turn it on. Doesn’t someone have a remote so we can turn it on?” Added Kanaan: “We have a video game in the truck. Can we set that up just to see what it looks like?” In total, 18 teams were on site gathering data and providing entertainment for a crowd of spectators who were able to view the test session for free.

No Time To Waste: Kanaan started second on the Streets of St. Petersburg, the first race 2014 season of the Verizon IndyCar Series. The front-row start matched the best-ever start in a debut for a driver in Team Target’s 25-year history. Indy car legend Michael Andretti started second and won for TCGR in his first race in Australia (street course) in March of 1994.

Peculiar Pairing: The pairing of Dixon and Kanaan marks the first time the reigning Indianapolis 500 Winner and the reigning Verizon IndyCar Series Champion will be teammates since 2002, when Team Penske had 2001 Indianapolis 500 Winner Helio Castroneves and 2001 CART Champion Gil de Ferran. The pairing of the two titleholders has only happened five times in Indy car history (1972 – Al Unser, 1971 Indianapolis 500 Winner and Joe Leonard, 1971 USAC Champion for Vel’s Parnelli Racing; 1986 – Danny Sullivan, 1985 Indianapolis 500 Winner and Al Unser, 1985 CART Champion for Team Penske; and in 1989 – Rick Mears, 1988 Indianapolis 500 Winner and Danny Sullivan, 1988 CART Champion for Team Penske.

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