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Aug 29, 2014 - 06:23 AM
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2014 Fontana: Target Ganassi IndyCar Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Aug 29, 2014 - 06:21 AM
IndyCar Weekend Team Reports
2014 Fontana: Target Ganassi IndyCar Race Preview


BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW THAT

Championship Pedigree: Chip Ganassi was honored this 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. "Owning multiple teams across different racing series is no small task, yet he continues to find success at the upper echelons of professional motorsports.” NASCAR President Mike Helton added, "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."

 

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TCGR at Fontana: In 21 starts at Fontana (1997-2005, 2012), TCGR earned one win (1998: Jimmy Vasser), six podiums, 11 top-five and 17 top-10 finishes. In total, TCGR has completed 4892 of 5390 (90.7%) laps and has led 341 laps at the track.

TCGR on Ovals: Since 1990 TCGR has 434 starts on oval courses. Overall, the team’s oval record includes 46 wins, 46 poles, 112 podiums, 174 top-five and 276 top-10 finishes.

Reliable Racing: Up to this point in the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series season, TCGR has completed 4073 out of a possible 4290 laps, or 94.9 percent.

Listen to The Legend: 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 Chip Ganassi Racing Teams. 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.

100+ Wins and Counting…: The Target Racing Program, which began with Target and Chip Ganassi Racing in 1990, will be contending for their 107th 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. 106 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 FONTANA

Scott Dixon and No. 9 Target Team

Career at Fontana: In seven starts at Fontana, Dixon has earned two podiums, three top-five and six top-10 finishes. In total, he completed 1563 of 1570 (99.6%) laps and has led 43 laps at the track.

On a Roll: Dixon has claimed seven straight top-10’s this season and has finished inside the top-5 in six of the last seven races, including two victories at Mid-Ohio and Sonoma earlier this month.

Moving On Up: With his victory at Sonoma, Dixon tied Bobby Unser for fifth on the all-time wins list with 35. He also extended his streak of consecutive seasons with a win to 10, while his pole at Iowa earlier this year marked his eighth consecutive season with a pole. He has led at least one race for 12 consecutive seasons. Dixon has 173 consecutive starts, placing him in fourth on the all-time list and second among active drivers behind teammate Kanaan.

Records Are Made to Be Broken: After learning that Dixon had tied his all-time win record, Bobby Unser congratulated him, saying, "Scott Dixon is a very, very good driver and records are made to be broken. I've been watching Scott race for years. I've been watching Scott since he started racing Indy cars when he was real young and he was successful almost immediately. He's truly a great driver and drives with a lot of vigor. I am happy for Scott and at his young age I am sure he'll get another win or lots to pass our 35 Indy car wins we now share together. Scott's a racer, he truly know how to drive a car, for sure. I just wish Chip would give him a stock car, sprinter or midget to race in, I am sure he'd win in those too. I am betting he'd win in anything he runs, if given the chance."

Strong Finishes: Dixon now has 118 career top-five finishes, tying Helio Castroneves for eighth on the all-time list. The pair are the active leaders for top-five finishes.

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 tied with Bobby Unser for fifth place on the all-time list (1909-Present) with 35 victories, ranking only behind A.J. Foyt, the Andretti’s (Mario and Michael) and Al Unser, Sr. His next pole (22nd) will see him break a tie with Gil De Ferran for sole possession of 13th on the all-time list.

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 Target Team

Career at Fontana: In 10 starts at Fontana, Kanaan has earned four podiums, six top-five and seven top-10 finishes. In total, he completed 2068 of 2320 (89.1%) laps and has led 116 laps at the track.

Fantastic Fontana Finishes: Kanaan has finished on the podium at Auto Club Speedway in four of the last five races at the track.

Hot Streak: Kanaan has finished in the top-five in four of the last six Verizon IndyCar Series races.

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 all-time record for consecutive IndyCar starts, which is currently at 232. 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 294 – which would be good enough maintain his eighth place ranking on the all-time list. Kanaan has 117 career top-five finishes, ranking him in ninth place overall and second place among active drivers on the all-time IndyCar top-five list. He is ranked fifth for the number of victories among active full-time drivers in the Verizon IndyCar Series.

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