IRL: Indy 500: Chip Ganassi Racing day three report

Target Cars 3rd and 4th in First Indy 500 practice Dan Wheldon ...

Target Cars 3rd and 4th in First Indy 500 practice

Dan Wheldon #10 Target Honda Dallara -

"Right from the start of the day, the no.10 Target Honda was really fast," said Wheldon who posted the third fastest time of the day with a speed of 223.916 mph. I'm happy with the team's preparations in getting this month going on the right foot. They've given me a fantastic car that's really balanced and fast. We got everything done today that we wanted to. We have a really good baseline to work with. Now it's going to be a cat and mouse game with the weather leading up to qualifying but given the results to say, I definitely feel pretty confident as we prepare for Pole Day and beyond. It's always very important that your momentum peaks just before the race. If you can peak race day, then you had a perfect month. We are working towards that."

Defending Indianapolis 500 winner and 2005 IndyCar Series Champion, Dan Wheldon will attempt to repeat last year's feat with his new team aboard the no.10 Target Honda. Wheldon became the first Englishman in nearly 40-years to win in the Indianapolis 500. The previous winner from Great Britain was Graham Hill, who beat Jim Clark in 1966.

"Everyone knows how much I love the Indianapolis 500,"says defending race winner, Dan Wheldon. "During the month of May, you experience every emotion, and the atmosphere on Race Day is something you never forget. This is a race I have wanted to win since I was a little kid growing up in England. To have realized that dream is something very special. To be celebrating the 90th running of the Indianapolis 500 -- it really says something about how great the event is. It's the biggest race in the world, and everyone who is a part of it can tell you how special it is -- everyone from the fans and volunteers to the drivers and crew members. There is so much history at the track, and it's very special to be a part of it."

Under the guidance of Chief Engineer Julian Robertson, Andy Brown retains the duties of Chief Engineer for the #10 Target Honda alongside crew chief Dave Higuera.

Scott Dixon #9 Target Honda Dallara -

"To be honest, it was a little rough going early on and I felt like there was room for improvement even if the no.9 Target Honda seemed pretty quick. The team made some big changes this afternoon to the car and then it started to feel pretty decent but then the rain came so we didn't get to run on it quite as much as I would have liked. I think what today reinforced was that our main competition will once again be the two Penske cars. That certainly sets the tone for the next few days."

New Zealand's Scott Dixon, 2003 IndyCar Series Champion and driver of the no.9 Target Honda, will make his fourth appearance at the Indianapolis 500 May 28th at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He is the third driver from New Zealand to compete in the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing".

Under the guidance of Chief Engineer Julian Robertson, Dixon is paired up with Chief Engineer, Eric Bretzman and crew chief Ricky Davis.

NOTES:

Coming Up This Month - Target Chip Ganassi Racing, along with drivers Scott Dixon and Dan Wheldon are preparing for the 90th running of the prestigious Indianapolis 500. Qualifying is set to take place on the 2.5 mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway this Saturday, May 13th (Pole Day) from 12 to 6 pm EDT. Teams will take to the track everyday for practice from 12 noon to 6 pm, weather permitting.

First All IndyCar Practice (Day 3)-- Scott Dixon and defending race winner Dan Wheldon took to the track aboard their Honda Dallaras for the first time this month in preparation for the famed race. Wheldon posted the third fastest lap time of the day with a speed of 223.916 mph, followed closely by Scott Dixon in fourth spot with a speed of 223.797 mph. Both Target cars were just behind the Penske 1-2 of Sam Hornish Jr. and Helio Castroneves. A light rain forced the track to close with just over an hour remaining in practice

"Gentlemen, Start your Honda!"- Both Target cars and each Indianapolis 500 entrant will receive a new Honda Indy V-8 engine for first day of practice on May 9. Teams must use that engine through practice and qualifying. All qualified cars will receive a new engine for Carb Day for use in the race. IndyCar Series regulars must use the same engine for the event at Watkins Glen.

"It makes it more of a challenge, and you're limited to 1,200 miles on the first motor," says Target Team manager of Race Operations, Barry Wanser. "We did more than that last year with Scott (Dixon), especially when you start doing full-tank running the second week. It will be a challenge to make the most of it. It's the same for everybody, but you have to be careful with your track management and time to get the most out it. The first week is all about getting the pole. You could throw in some full-tank running in the mix of doing qualifying sims. It definitely will be interesting for everybody."

The Big Apple-May 22

* To celebrate the 90th running of the Indianapolis 500, the race's 33 qualified drivers will visit two of New York City's most recognizable institutions. The drivers will start the morning ringing The Opening Bell at the New York Stock Exchange and touring the trading floor.

* Following the NYSE event, the drivers will participate in a unique photo and interview opportunity aboard the Intrepid Sea Air & Space Museum. The 33 drivers, in race day uniform, will line up in the traditional Indianapolis 500 starting line up, 11 rows of three, for a photo on the ship's flight deck. Following the photo opportunity, all drivers will be available for interviews during a media luncheon in the Great Hall aboard the aircraft carrier.

Target Store Appearance-May 26 Carb Day

Target drivers Scott Dixon and Dan Wheldon will be visiting a local Indianapolis Target (38th Street West and I-465) to sign autographs for guests from 6-7 pm on Friday, May 26th.

-cgr

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Scott Dixon , Dan Wheldon , Jim Clark , Chip Ganassi , Graham Hill , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing