IRL: Richmond: Chip Ganassi Racing Friday report

Richmond, Virginia, Friday, June 23, 2006--Dan Wheldon and the No.10 NicoDerm CQ Target car held the pole for Saturday evening's Richmond race until rain interrupted the qualifying session with eight cars remaining and eventually forced its ...

Richmond, Virginia, Friday, June 23, 2006--Dan Wheldon and the No.10 NicoDerm CQ Target car held the pole for Saturday evening's Richmond race until rain interrupted the qualifying session with eight cars remaining and eventually forced its cancellation, resulting in a starting lineup based on practice times. Unfortunately, that put the Target team farther back on the grid than expected, with Wheldon starting from the second row in fourth spot and Scott Dixon starting 11th after encountering problems in practice that were later resolved.

#10 Dan Wheldon- Honda / Dallara /Firestone

-Dan Wheldon's won the 2004 SunTrust Indy Challenge (from a 20th starting position) and has had two top-fives and three top-10s in three attempts at Richmond.

-Wheldon's best qualifying effort at Richmond, prior to this weekend's fourth place start, was seventh (2005).

"The NicoDerm CQ car certainly looks good. It kind of adds to the rivalry with the Penske team. It would be great to beat those boys in NicoDerm country. It's a shame that we didn't get qualifying in because I think the lap was relatively good and we would have hoped to hang on to the pole position. The Nicoderm/Target car was working well. We've definitely improved as the weekend has gone on. We're not too disappointed though. We know we have a good race car and anything can happen at this track. It will be a difficult race with everyone running tight and close together. It's a tough track and it will certainly keep you on your toes.

#9 Scott Dixon- Honda / Dallara /Firestone

-The No.9 Target Honda has started no lower than fourth on the grid in every race this season leading up to Richmond.

-Dixon has finished in the top-10 in every race this season, including a win and two second place finishes

"We were definitely hoping for a start in the top five so we're a little disappointed because we had a small problem in practice so we didn't set a very quick time there. We got all that sorted out and I think we have a really good race car. It's a pretty important race for us. They all are from here to the end of the season really."

MORE NOTES

Live from Richmond... It's Saturday Night!-- For the seventh race of the 2006 season, Target Chip Ganassi Racing will race 250 laps (187.5 miles) under the lights on the shortest track on the IndyCar series circuit, the .75 mile Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, VA this Saturday, June 24.

Many drivers feel that the small D-shaped asphalt oval of Richmond International Raceway is one of the more physically demanding tracks the series races on because of the quick, sub 16--second laps and the G-Force loads the drivers feel through the turns.

Driven to Quit-- This race weekend in Richmond, the no.10 Target Honda Dallara, driver Dan Wheldon and the pit crew will be sporting a new and inspiring paint scheme. The blue, green and white NicoDerm CQ car will be driven to win at Richmond and hopes to inspire fans to win their own battle against nicotine addition.

Race for Championship-- The IndyCar Series Championship race gets a little more interesting as Dixon (210 points) remains second, 22 points behind Helio Castroneves (232) who now has three wins this season. Wheldon jumps into third place with 195 points, with Sam Hornish Jr. (194 points) trailing by just one point in fourth place.

Get the Lead Out-- In total, the team has led 401 of 955 laps this year. That is a percentage of 41.9%. Scott Dixon has led a total of 56 laps and has completed 954 of 955 laps this season. Dan Wheldon has led a total of 345 laps (of 955) and has completed 898 of 955 laps this season. Wheldon has 36.1% of laps led. Dixon has completed all but one lap this season.

Looking Back-- Scott Dixon dominated the 2003 SunTrust Indy Challenge at RIR, winning the pole and leading every lap of the rain-shortened event, for his second of three wins on his way to winning the 2003 IndyCar Series championship.

In 2004, as defending race winner, Scott Dixon started the race strong from sixth place on the grid but had some minor contact early on with another car, making it more difficult to pass the rest of the race. Dixon settled for an eight place finish. Darren Manning, in contrast, had a great run moving up from his eleventh place starting position and was among the leaders in sixth place before contact with the wall put him out of the race. Manning was credited with a 20th place finishing position.

In 2005, Saturday night racing fever required a dose of Tylenol in order to help dull the collective headache that the Target Team was left with after the trio of Target cars (Dixon, Manning & Ryan Briscoe) were denied the chance to see the finish line following three separate incidents.

-cgr-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Darren Manning , Helio Castroneves , Scott Dixon , Dan Wheldon , Ryan Briscoe , Chip Ganassi , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing