INDY RACING LEAGUE NEWS AND NOTES -- July 26, 2005 Today's IRL headlines 1. Ganassi team releases Manning 1. Ganassi team releases Manning: Target Chip Ganassi Racing announced that it will part ways with driver Darren Manning effectively ...
INDY RACING LEAGUE NEWS AND NOTES -- July 26, 2005
Today's IRL headlines
1. Ganassi team releases Manning
1. Ganassi team releases Manning: Target Chip Ganassi Racing announced that it will part ways with driver Darren Manning effectively immediately.
Scott Dixon, the 2003 IRL IndyCar® Series champion, and series rookie Ryan Briscoe will compete this weekend in the Firestone Indy 400 at Michigan International Speedway. The team did not address a replacement for Manning in the No. 10 Toyota-powered Panoz.
"Darren did a great job for us and we were very happy to have had him as part of our team," team owner Chip Ganassi said in a statement. "The team does regret that we weren't able to bring him to Victory Circle in our time together, but we certainly wish him the best of luck in his racing career."
Manning was 13th in championship points (tops among the three drivers), with a sixth place in the season opener at Homestead-Miami Speedway the high-water mark. He started this season in similar fashion as 2004, with four consecutive top-10 finishes. But a seventh at Kansas was his only top 10 in the past six races.
Manning, 29, was involved in incidents at Richmond International Raceway and Nashville Superspeedway that knocked out the No. 10 car. Late in the SunTrust Indy Challenge at the 0.75-mile D-shaped Richmond oval, his car made contact with the No. 24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing car driven by Roger Yasukawa and both hit the wall. At the 1.33-mile concrete oval at Nashville, a mechanical failure on the No. 11 Team 7-Eleven car driven by Tony Kanaan forced Manning's car into the SAFER Barrier in Turn 1 on Lap 115.
This past weekend at The Milwaukee Mile, Manning did not make a qualifying attempt because of a handling issue and started 21st. Two early pit stops did not resolve the problem and he parked the car after 34 laps.
Manning joined Target Chip Ganassi Racing in November 2003 after competing full time in the CART series that season. The North Yorkshire, England, native had four top-5 and eight top-10 finishes in 14 events. He missed the final two races (California and Texas) because of a slight concussion and minor compression fracture of the thoracic vertebrae suffered in a qualifying crash at California Speedway. He signed a contract extension with the team in September.
Before joining Target Chip Ganassi Racing, Manning was a test driver for the BAR Honda F1 team for the 2000-02 seasons. He also raced with the Arden International F3000 team in 2000 and '01.
Dixon has bests of sixth (St. Petersburg, Nashville) this season. He finished 13th at Milwaukee last weekend. Briscoe's season high is eighth at Nashville. He did not start at Milwaukee after a practice crash, though he was cleared to drive by the Indy Racing League medical team.
The 10th season of IndyCar Series competition continues with the Firestone Indy 400 on July 31 at Michigan International Speedway. The race will be broadcast by ABC and the IMS Radio Network. The race broadcast will also be carried on XM Satellite Radio channel 152 (XM Extreme). ESPN2's telecast of the Milwaukee 100 is scheduled for 3 p.m. (EDT) on July 28. The next Menards Infiniti Pro Series race is the Courier-Journal 100 on Aug. 13 at Kentucky Speedway. The race will be telecast on ESPN2 at 5 p.m. (EDT) on Aug. 18. The next episode of "The Fast Life," ESPN2's behind-the-scenes series about the IndyCar Series, airs at noon (EDT) on Aug. 7.