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Jul 03, 2014 - 06:22 AM
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2014 Pocono 500: Target Chip Ganassi Racing IndyCar Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Jul 03, 2014 - 06:18 AM
IndyCar Weekend Team Reports
2014 Pocono 500: Target Chip Ganassi Racing IndyCar Race Preview


Race: The Pocono IndyCar 500 Fueled By Sunoco, July 6
Drivers: @scottdixon9 @tonykanaan
Cars: No. 9 and No. 10 Target Chevrolets
Track: Pocono Raceway (2.5-mile tri-oval)
TV: NBC Sports Network 12:00 PM ET
Social: @CGRTeams #TeamTarget

 

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BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW THAT

Welcome Back: 2013 race marked the first Verizon IndyCar Series race in Pocono since 1989. Scott Dixon’s first-place finish was the first victory for Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR) as an IndyCar team at Pocono.

Taming the Tricky Triangle: In 2013 Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) drivers finished first, second, and third on the triangle-shaped, three-turn Pocono Raceway. It marked the first time that one owner has all three podium spots in a Verizon IndyCar series race at Pocono and the first time CGRT has ever done it.

Pocono Past: In the 1989 CART Series race at Pocono, Chip Ganassi was a co-owner of the No. 20 Marlboro Chevrolet driven by Emerson Fittipaldi that claimed the.

Dixon on the Red Carpet: Reigning Verizon IndyCar Series Champion Dixon was recently nominated in the "Best Driver" category for this year’s annual ESPY Awards. Dixon earned his third series title in 2013 with a late-season run that saw him rally from a nearly 80-point deficit. Dixon described the nomination by saying "The fields are so tight in the Verizon IndyCar Series right now, with the best drivers competing every weekend. 2013 marked a great final run by our team to come back and win the championship, and I’m honored to represent Target Chip Ganassi Racing as a nominee for the ESPY Award for Best Driver.”

Ganassi Gets the Glen: Chip Ganassi will be honored next month by the International Motor Racing Research Center (IMRRC) for outstanding contributions to motorsports by receiving the inaugural Cameron R. Argetsinger Award. The award is named after the “Father of American Road Racing”, a visionary who, in 1948, conceived, organized and drove in the first post-war road race in America through the roads of Watkins Glen. "Chip Ganassi is a titan in the racing community. His leadership and business acumen have grown Chip Ganassi Racing from a one-car team to a powerhouse in the industry," said International Speedway Cooperation President John Saunders. NASCAR President Mike Helton added, "Owning multiple teams across different racing series is no small task, yet he continues to find success at the upper echelons of professional motorsports. Chip is an outstanding competitor, savvy team owner and is passionate about his work. The France Family and all of NASCAR congratulate Chip on being the first recipient of the Cameron R. Argetsinger Award for outstanding contributions to motorsports."

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 105th 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. 103 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.

Legendary Advice: After retiring from his racing career at the end of 2013, former TCGR driver Dario Franchitti returned to Team Target in 2014 as a driving advisor for CGRT. Franchitti has also received many honors in 2014. The four-time Verizon IndyCar Series Champion and three-time Indianapolis 500 Winner from Scotland was among sports figures to be honored in Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday list in early June, being made a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to motor racing. Earlier this year, Franchitti also received the honor of being named the pace car driver for the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500, where he led the field around during the opening laps in a 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28. In his new role with Team Target, Franchitti has been assisting the team as it adapts to recent lineup changes and additions and will continue to provide support throughout the remainder of the year.

#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 POCONO RACEWAY

Scott Dixon and No. 9 Target Team

Winning Quickly: In only one start at Pocono raceway, Scott Dixon has already has picked up a victory. He is looking to become the first Verizon IndyCar Series driver to win back-to-back races at Pocono, and the third driver to have multiple victories at Pocono (Danny Sulivan 1984, 1989; Rick Mears 1982, 1985).

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.

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).

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.

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 166 consecutive starts, placing him in sixth on the all-time list and in second place behind teammate Kanaan for active drivers.

Tony Kanaan and No. 10 Target Team

On The Prowl at Pocono: A win at Pocono would be Tony Kannan’s first ever win at Pocono, and 17th of his career. This would move him into a tie for 26th all-time with Ralph Mulford and former two-time Pocono Winner Danny Sullivan.

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 224. Only four other active drivers (Dixon, Helio Castroneves, 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 113 career top-five finishes. He is ranked fifth for the number of victories among active full-time drivers in the Verizon IndyCar Series.

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