IRL: Kentucky: Chip Ganassi Racing race report

Target Struggles to Cash In at Belterra Casino Indy 200 Florence, Kentucky, August 15th, 2004-- Target Chip Ganassi Racing drivers Scott Dixon and Darren Manning found the challenge a mighty one throughout the Belterra Casino Indy 200 at the...

Target Struggles to Cash In at Belterra Casino Indy 200

Florence, Kentucky, August 15th, 2004-- Target Chip Ganassi Racing drivers Scott Dixon and Darren Manning found the challenge a mighty one throughout the Belterra Casino Indy 200 at the 1.5 mile oval of Kentucky Speedway but the results they were looking for just weren't in the cards. Up to the task at hand, the Target team qualified the two cars driven by Manning and Dixon 8th and 9th on the starting grid respectively but their efforts just didn't quite pay dividends.

"At the start of the race I had a bit too much understeer and while the crew made a front wing adjustment on the first pit stop to improve the car, it ended up setting me back quite a way," says Dixon who dropped down towards the back of the pack early on but managed to fight his way back into the top ten by the final pit stop."I worked the Target car back up to seventh spot and had a chance to battle with the leaders with about 12 laps to go in the race but it's all about momentum and things just didn't quite go the way we had hoped."

The 2003 defending champion, Scott 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.

Target teammate 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 had some pretty good runs but halfway through the race I lost the pack and just ended up racing around by myself which got pretty frustrating," says Manning of his struggle to rejoin the leaders. "At the beginning of each stint it was a bit of a struggle on new tires and the front was really pushing and that would drop me back and compound the problem. It got much better at the end of the stints but by then the damage was done. On the positive side we had clean pits stops and a clean race. I'm not happy with 10th place because that isn't where we should have been but we'll take it and move forward."

Adrian Fernandez held off polesitter Buddy Rice to win his first IndyCar Series race in his 10th IRL start. Fernandez started an IRL career-best fourth on the grid and stayed in contention throughout the race, passing Rice on lap 152 to take the lead for good. Dan Wheldon finished third while teammate Tony Kanaan (433 points) remains the leader in the driver points championship race with a fifth place finish. Both Target drivers drop one spot as Scott Dixon falls to 10th place with 243 points and Darren Manning is in 11th with 236 points.

Target Chip Ganassi Racing will return to race action in this coming weekend as they head to Colorado Springs, Colorado to take on Pikes Peak International Raceway for the Honda Indy 225, the twelfth race of the 16-race IndyCar season. Target fans can tune in to watch the Pikes Peak race on ABC at 3:30 pm (EDT) Sunday, August 22nd 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 , Adrian Fernandez , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Buddy Rice , Chip Ganassi
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing