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Jun 06, 2014 - 06:26 AM
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2014 Texas: Ganassi IndyCar Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Jun 06, 2014 - 06:24 AM
IndyCar Weekend Team Reports
2014 Texas: Ganassi IndyCar Race Preview


RACE SETUP

Race: Firestone 600, June 7
Drivers: @scottdixon9 @tonykanaan
Cars: No. 9 Target and No. 10 Suave For Men Chevrolets
Track: Texas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval) in Fort Worth, Texas
TV: NBC Sports Network 8:00pm ET
Social: @CGRTeams #TeamTarget

 

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BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW THAT

Month to Month: After spending most of May in Indiana for the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis and the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 , TCGR will be spending much of June in Texas. The team will be in Fort Worth this week for the Firestone 600 and then will be racing in a double-header Grand Prix on the Streets of Houston at the end of the month.

Triple Threat: Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR) is no stranger to winning at Texas Motor Speedway. Jeff Ward won there in 2002, Scott Dixon won from the pole in 2008 and Dario Franchitti won in 2011.

Not Messing with Texas: From 2002 to 2013, TCGR has finished on the podium at Texas Motor Speedway 10 times and has scored 14 top-five and 19 top-10 finishes.

Swinging Momentum: Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) claimed two podiums, three top-five and six top-10 finishes at the Chevy Indy Dual in Detroit last weekend. In the second race of the dual, Scott Dixon gained 18 positions to finish fourth after starting at the very back of the 22-car field. Teammate Tony Kanaan finished ninth in the second race, climbing eight spots from a 17th place starting position.

Reliable Racing: Up to this point in the contact-laden 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series season, TCGR has completed 1281 out of a possible 1362 laps, or 94 percent.

Follow the Leader: On May 22, Chip Ganassi was inducted into the Auto Racing Hall of Fame alongside Jimmy McElreath, Leo Mehl, Bobby Rahal and Bill Simpson. There are now 148 members in the elite fraternity, which is located at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum.

Out But Not Down: Former TCGR driver Dario Franchitti received the honor of being named the pace car driver for the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500. The four-time Verizon IndyCar Series Champion and three-time Indianapolis 500 Winner led the field around during the opening laps in a 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28. After retiring from his racing career at the end of 2013, Franchitti returned to Team Target in 2014 as a driving advisor for CGRT. Franchitti assists the team as it adapts to recent lineup changes and additions, and was on site with the team for the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit at Belle Isle earlier this month. He will continue to work closely with the teams’ Verizon IndyCar Series drivers throughout the duration of the season.

Finding New Roads: All four 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.

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.

#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 TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

Scott Dixon and No. 9 Target Team

Return to the Lone Star State: Dixon has had success at Texas Motor Speedway. He has scored one win (2008), six podiums (2003, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011-twice) and nine top-10 finishes at the track.

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.

Title Talk: Should reigning Verizon IndyCar Series Champion 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.

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 Suave For Men Team

Racing In Big Sky Country: In 14 starts at Texas Motor Speedway, Kanaan has claimed one win (2004), six podiums (2003, 2004-twice, 2005, 2007, 2013) and 11 top-10 finishes. He has completed 2,788 laps out of a possible 2,791 at the track.

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.

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. He is ranked fifth for the number of victories among active full-time drivers in the Verizon IndyCar Series.



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