IRL: Kentucky: Chip Ganassi Racing preview

"And They're OFF ...."-- While the Kentucky Derby might hold the title as the most famous of the Kentucky races, this weekend's AMBER Alert Portal Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, KY will feature a lot more horses. Target Chip Ganassi ...

"And They're OFF ...."-- While the Kentucky Derby might hold the title as the most famous of the Kentucky races, this weekend's AMBER Alert Portal Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, KY will feature a lot more horses. Target Chip Ganassi Racing will be taking their Toyota horsepower to the 1.5 mile asphalt tri-oval for the 200 lap (300 mile) contest with drivers Scott Dixon, Ryan Briscoe and newest addition, Jaques Lazier. The Kentucky race features fast, wide open racing and boasts two of the 20-closest finishes in series history, but it is also known as the bumpiest track on the IndyCar circuit. It is 12th of 17 races on the 2005 schedule and the first of another three consecutive races.

Jaques is Back--Jaques Lazier will once again take the helm of the no.10 Target Toyota Panoz this weekend at Kentucky Speedway. It will be his second race for Target Chip Ganassi Racing after taking over the seat previously occupied by Darren Manning, with whom the team parted ways at the end of July. In his first start for Target Chip Ganassi Racing in Michigan, Lazier had a strong run and was making gains to put himself in the top ten when on lap 181, he became an unfortunate bystander caught up in a multi-car accident in turn two but was not injured in the incident.

In Training--While most of the IndyCar drivers had the weekend off prior to the Kentucky race, Target driver Scott Dixon had a race to run...a Triathlon to be exact. Keeping fit comes with the territory for Dixon in his quest for success behind the wheel of the no.9 Target Toyota, but he's taking that goal a step further this year. In just the past month, he's competed in two triathlons in Shelbyville, Indiana featuring a 1/2 mile swim, 16 mile bike and 3 mile run. Even Target teammate Ryan Briscoe got into the action when he joined Dixon for the event last month. Dixon won his age group (21-24) and finished 22nd overall while Briscoe was not far behind placing 29th overall. After celebrating his 25th birthday and moving into another category (25-29 age group) for the competition this past weekend, the New Zealand native won his age group once again and finished 8th overall,.

"I've done some triathlons in the past and always really enjoyed the competition aspect of it," Dixon said. "I started training for them again about a month or so ago and am doing several in Indiana and maybe a half Iron man later in the year."

Check the Rear View Mirrors-- In 2003, at Kentucky, Scott Dixon qualified 2nd and finished 2nd. Last season, both Target cars qualified in the top ten (8th and 9th) but Dixon had to settle for a 13th place finish when a mechanical problem hampered his final run for a top ten finish in the final laps. The no.10 Target car driven by Darren Manning had an uneventful race as he battled as best he could to rejoin the leaders for the final sprint as well, crossing the finish line in tenth place.

"I'm So Fast..." --Kentuckian Muhammad Ali was known for his speed in the boxing ring and speed with which he could come up with a clever quotation; "I'm so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark." While the IndyCars might not quite move at the speed of light, speeds at the 1.5 mile oval are expected to be around 218 mph. The fastest lap speed recorded at Kentucky Speedway was set at 221.390 mph (24.0661 seconds) on August 10th 2002.

As Good As Gold--While the largest amount of gold, more than $6 billion worth, is held in the underground vaults of Kentucky's Fort Knox, a win for the Target team is as good as gold. The team has five wins in the Indy Racing league and won 40 races in the CART series. Their last win dates back to Scott Dixon's 2003 championship season with wins at Homestead, Pikes Peak and Richmond (June 2003) but the team has come close at Kentucky... Dixon qualified and finish 2nd at the race in 2003

Alert! Alert! Alert!--The IndyCar Series event at Kentucky Speedway will help bring attention to and expand the state's AMBER Alert system that is used to notify the public about missing and abducted children. The AMBER Alert Portal Consortium is a public-private partnership that provides states new technology that expands the alert system to make it more effective by expanding messages from television, radio and electronic highway signs to include cell phones, e-mail, pagers, Personal Digital Assistants, computer desktops and lottery terminals.

Where the Rubber Meets the Road -- according to Firestone engineers, the high banking at Kentucky Speedway requires a Firehawk tire built for most durability and a compound with high-heat durability that is needed at all superspeedways.

Watch it LIVE--Target fans can tune in to watch the AMBER Alert Portal Indy300 on ABC Live at 3:30 pm (EDT) on Sunday, August 14th.

Radio Roots for IndyCar--Target fans can thank a Kentuckian named Nathan B. Stubblefield of Murray, KY for bringing them this weekend's broadcast of the AMBER Alert Portal Indy 300 race as he was the inventor of the radio in 1892, three years before Marconi made his claim to the invention. Fans can listen in to the IndyCar broadcast live by IMS radio Network at 3:30pm (EDT), available on XM Satellite Radio Channel 152 "XM Extreme" and web cast on Indycar.com.

Next Stop --Target Chip Ganassi Racing now prepares to head west for the next two races. The first stop will be the 1.5 mile oval at Pikes Peak, CO, on Sunday, August 21st, followed by a road trip to Sonoma, CA., for the August 28th race, the second of three road races of the 2005 season.

-cgr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Darren Manning , Scott Dixon , Ryan Briscoe , Chip Ganassi , Jaques Lazier
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing