IRL: Chip Ganassi Racing on 2005 schedule

Target Set On Hitting the Road in 2005 Indianapolis, IN, August 4th, 2004-- Target Chip Ganassi Racing is pleased with the Indy Racing League's 2005 series schedule announcement on Tuesday which highlights 16 races; 14 ovals and the addition...

Target Set On Hitting the Road in 2005

Indianapolis, IN, August 4th, 2004-- Target Chip Ganassi Racing is pleased with the Indy Racing League's 2005 series schedule announcement on Tuesday which highlights 16 races; 14 ovals and the addition of two road course circuits. After winning the 2003 IndyCar series Championship in just their first full season in the IRL, Target Chip Ganassi Racing will celebrate its third year in the IndyCar series in 2005. Next year will also mark the tenth season of competition for the Indy Racing League, and the first time it will feature road racing events in the series history.

Target Chip Ganassi Racing has had a storied history of success, especially in openwheel road racing, winning 26 races (of 43 victories) on road or street tracks since 1994. Target drivers Scott Dixon and Darren Manning both come from road racing backgrounds and the team expects that kind of combination to be a key advantage in the hunt for the series championship in 2005 and beyond.

"The addition of road racing is definitely a welcome idea," says defending IndyCar series champion Scott Dixon. "It's a good step in improving and expanding the level of racing in the Indy Racing League to make it even more exciting, competitive and challenging to vie for the series championship. That's good news for racing and everyone associated with racing, especially drivers and fans."

The first road race of the 2005 season will take place at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California on August 28 on an IndyCar Series-modified 10-turn, 1.77-mile course. It will be the first Indy-style race at the facility since Dan Gurney's win in a USAC Indy Car race in 1970.

The second road course race is schedule for September 25th at the historic 3.4-mile, 11-turn long-course at Watkins Glen International on a weekend that has long been associated with the United States Grand Prix at the facility. In fact, the IndyCar Series circuit will include "the boot," which is part of the circuit's traditional Grand Prix circuit.

"The Indy Racing League has spent the past few years working on establishing itself and it's nice to see them take the next step and expand to road racing," says Darren Manning, driver of the no.10 Target Toyota/Panoz G Force, who hails from a road racing background. "There's room to grow and it will add a nice variety. NASCAR is known as an oval series and they see the value in running at these tracks so why shouldn't we. The IndyCar series runs on some great oval tracks, and it makes sense to add some great road tracks. It'll be a treat to go to two circuits that have a history with open wheel racing."

"We're obviously excited about going to race at road track circuits," says team owner Chip Ganassi. "I believe that it will improve the championship, excitement, as well as awareness among fans and sponsors, and it is certainly a valuable step in the building of a premier series."

Target Chip Ganassi Racing joined the Indy Racing League in 2002 with driver Jeff Ward and then returned for the full schedule of events in 2003 with the tandem of Scott Dixon and Thomas Scheckter. The Target team celebrated their first season in the IRL with the 2003 IndyCar series Championship, the team's fifth championship title in eight years. For the start of the 2004 season, Scott Dixon returned as defending Champion, and was joined by newcomer to the IndyCar series, Darren Manning.

Target Chip Ganassi Racing will return to race action in two weeks at Kentucky Speedway for the Belterra Casino Indy 300, the eleventh race of the 16-race IndyCar 2004 season. Target fans can tune in to watch the Kentucky race on ABC at 3:30 pm (EDT) Sunday, August 15th or they can listen in on the IMS Radio Network. Throughout the 2004 season, fans are invited to follow the team's progress by logging onto their official website at target.com/racing for news, features, photos and much more.

-cgr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Darren Manning , Jeff Ward , Scott Dixon , Dan Gurney , Chip Ganassi , Thomas Scheckter
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing