Fontana, California. Oct 16, 2005 - Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon followed up a victory at Watkins Glen last month with a top ten finish in his no.9 Pink Toyota Panoz at California Speedway this weekend, along with a message of hope and...
Fontana, California. Oct 16, 2005 - Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon followed up a victory at Watkins Glen last month with a top ten finish in his no.9 Pink Toyota Panoz at California Speedway this weekend, along with a message of hope and support for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, to finally bring a difficult 2005 IndyCar Series season to a more positive end.
As soon as the green flag dropped at the 2 mile oval at California Speedway, both pink Target entries found themselves in the unenviable position of having to work their way through the field as Jaques Lazier qualified 14th, just ahead of teammate Dixon in 15th spot on the starting grid.
While Dixon struggled much of the race with a handling issue caused by debris that punctured the front wing after the second stint, he worked his way up carefully and maintained a position in the top ten for much of the race.
"It was frustrating not be able to finish the race and the season on a bit more of a positive note but it reflects the kind of challenging season the team has had," said Dixon taking the checkered flag in tenth place. "Hopefully, having run the pink car scheme this weekend for Breast Cancer Awareness Month will leave a more lasting impression of what the team is about. The Target team has dealt with some adversity the last two years and it is because of the team's high standards and work ethics that we qualify this as an average season at best. The win at Watkins did a lot to stoke everyone up but we'll look forward to being back on top next season."
Lazier was working his way up towards a very promising finish, even leading the field on three occasions for a total of 13 laps, when contact with the no.16 car of Danica Patrick, with just 16 laps left in the 200 race put both competitors into the safer barrier in turn 4.
"I'm very disappointed for the Target Team because they gave me a good car once again and enabled me to work my way up for that final sprint to the finish and to have it all ruined like that is frustrating," said Lazier who was credited with a 17th place finish. "There's not much point in placing blame. I was just hoping to bring the Pink Target Toyota home on a positive note for the team and for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. I've enjoyed my time with this class organization and only wish we might have been able to be a bit more of a factor."
Dario Franchitti beat teammate Tony Kanaan by 0.1117 of a second to post his second victory of the season as their team claimed their second consecutive IndyCar Series title with Dan Wheldon officially crowned driver champion.
The Target Team's post season will likely be a busy one as they prepare to test their Toyota Panoz cars in anticipation for a competitive but compacted 2006 IndyCar calendar. Target fans should log on to www.target.com/racing for more news and photos during the off season.