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May 07, 2014 - 07:10 AM
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Texas Motor Speedway Speed Reads For Week Of 5/5/14
Posted by: newsla on May 07, 2014 - 07:06 AM
Texas Motor Speedway Speed Reads For Week Of 5/5/14

For Verizon IndyCar Series veteran driver Tony Kanaan, matching the success of last year that was punctuated by an elusive victory in the Indianapolis 500 seemed impossible but the Brazilian continued to prosper during the offseason. Kanaan, who raced for the smaller team of KV Racing Technology the previous three seasons, found a home with one of the Verizon IndyCar Series' powerhouse organizations in Target Chip Ganassi Racing for this season.


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Now piloting the No. 10 Target Chevrolet left vacant by the retirement of four-time INDYCAR champion Dario Franchitti, Kanaan has found new life as he is in the midst of 17th season in open-wheel competition. He already has two top-10 finishes in the first three races of the season and is still looking to make improvements as he continues the transition.

"It's been awesome," Kanaan said of his move to Target Chip Ganassi Racing. "It's quite a bit different than what I was used to. I have very tough teammates that keep me on my toes. I have to say they made me feel pretty comfortable in the past three months. For me to adapt, it wasn't that difficult. Obviously, there are quite a few things that I need to relearn. We have a lot more information."

The move to Target Chip Ganassi Racing resembles the days when Kanaan won the INDYCAR championship while piloting the No. 11 7-Eleven entry for then-Andretti Green Racing - now Andretti Autosport. He has the ability to share a wealth of information with multiple teammates, led by defending Verizon IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon and also including Ryan Briscoe and Charlie Kimball.

With greater resources and armed with more data, Kanaan is primed to take advantages of the assets he has missed the previous three seasons while driving for KV Racing Technology.

"I'm in a very good organization, probably one of the best positions I've been in my career in IndyCar," Kanaan said. "There's no reason to be unhappy.

"I was in a very good position back in the days when I was with Andretti. For whatever reason or the circumstances were, I took a big hit on that when I had to leave. The struggle for the past three years with finding (sponsorship) money not just doing what I want to do, which is drive the car, I didn't realize then, but for sure now I can see. Yeah, I'm happy because I think anybody that would be driving that 10 car - you could ask anybody on the grid - they would be smiling the entire time."

Kanaan and the Verizon IndyCar Series return to Texas Motor Speedway for the "Original Nighttime IndyCar Race - the Firestone 600 - on Saturday, June 7. Texas Motor Speedway is offering the "Family 4-Pack" special, four Firestone 600 race tickets, four hot dogs and four Coca-Cola products for $99. Tickets for the Firestone 600 Verizon IndyCar Series race are available by contacting the Texas Motor Speedway ticket office at (817) 215-8500 or by visiting www.texasmotorspeedway.com.
Best Of The Best

Texas Motor Speedway is looking to add another award to its trophy case as it has been selected as a D Magazine Best of Big D: Reader's Choice finalist for the "Best Sports Venue in Dallas."

From now until Sunday, fans can submit their vote to recognize Texas Motor Speedway as the best sports venue in Dallas by visiting www.dmagazine.com/BoBD2014. Fans can vote once a day, every day until the deadline.

Texas Motor Speedway, which recently added the world's largest high-definition LED videoboard to enhance the fan experience, is competing against nine other Dallas area sports venues - Moody Coliseum; American Airlines Center; Dragon Stadium; Cotton Bowl; Allen Event Center; Globe Life Park in Arlington; Toyota Stadium; Dr. Pepper Ballpark; and AT&T Stadium.

The winner will be unveiled in D Magazine's August Best of Big D issue.
Back In The Saddle

After nearly six weeks off, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to action Friday at Kansas Speedway. Series stars such as Ryan Blaney, Darrell Wallace Jr. and John Wes Townley have competed in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and ARCA Racing Series to fill their down time while current series championship leader Timothy Peters competed in the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown charity late model race on April 24.

"I'm really looking forward to getting back in the Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet this weekend in Kansas," three-time series champion Ron Hornaday Jr. said. "We have had a long break and it will be nice to get back to racing."

Friday's race at Kansas Speedway will be the first of the season at a 1.5-mile track and - weather permitting - will be the first time the series will utilize the new NASCAR qualifying format. The first two events of the season at Daytona International Speedway and Martinsville Speedway had inclement weather force cancellations to Camping World Truck Series qualifying.

This weekend's action in Kansas also will gauge how the series' new body styles perform at intermediate tracks. Much like the Sprint Cup Series' move toward the Gen-6 car last season, the Camping World Truck Series shifted to a new body style that more closely resembles the trucks on the showroom floor.

Kansas is one of three 1.5-mile ovals the series will compete on during the next four races, which includes a visit to Texas Motor Speedway for the WinStar World Casino & Resort 400 on Friday, June 6.

To purchase tickets to the WinStar World Casino & Resort 400, visit www.texasmotorspeedway.com or call the Texas Motor Speedway ticket office at (817) 215-8500.
SCC-Texas Hits Home Run

Speedway Children's Charities-Texas Chapter, along with Silver Dollar at The Ranch, brightened the afternoon for 50 pediatric cancer patients and their families Sunday at the Frisco RoughRiders minor-league baseball game.

Pediatric patients from Children's Medical Center at Legacy and Medical City Children's Hospital in Dallas took part in the Lil' Riders Party where they were treated to a private party with food, a RoughRiders gift pack and a "meet and greet" with Texas Rangers Hall of Fame catcher Pudge Rodriguez.

Speedway Children's Charities-Texas Chapter will once again benefit from the seventh annual Silver Dollar at the Ranch that is scheduled for Saturday, May 17, at XO Ranch in Aubrey, Texas. The event includes a silent auction and games followed by a concert from country music star Jack Ingram. Individual tickets are $150 and are available by visiting www.silverdollarattheranch.com.
Last Lap

The media credentials deadline for the Firestone 600/WinStar World Casino & Resort 400 weekend is Friday, May 23. To apply for credentials, visit www.smicredentials.com. Those not yet registered for the website will first need to apply for access through the site. Once a registration confirmation e-mail is received, the credential request can then be submitted. Requests following the deadline will not be accepted. ... Fans still have a chance to send mom on a pre-race parade lap with defending Verizon IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon, defending Firestone 600 champion Helio Castroneves, 2012 IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport drivers Marco Andretti and James Hinchcliffe, or the newest addition to Team Penske, former CART champion and Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya. Fans that purchase tickets to the Firestone 600 from now until Saturday will be eligible to win one of the six ride-alongs available. To purchase tickets to the Firestone 600

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