Wheldon's Win at Kansas Speedway Part of Big Weekend for Chip Ganassi Racing
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (April 27, 2008)-Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon started from pole position and dominated Sunday's Road Runner Turbo Indy 300, but an untimely caution relegated him to a third place finish. Teammate Dan Wheldon picked up the slack to record Target's second win of the season through four rounds, becoming the first repeat winner at Kansas Speedway in the process.
The Target duo started the weekend by qualifying first (Dixon) and second (Wheldon), which translated directly into race pace as they combined to lead all but six of the 200 laps on Sunday. The team was the class of the 27-car field, running first and second the majority of the race, but the turning point for Dixon came when the No. 9 Target Honda Dallara was the victim of an untimely caution flag that sent him back in the field before the race's final restart.
Wheldon seized the opportunity, opened up a 2.1778 second gap over Tony Kanaan and notched his 14th career victory. Wheldon's last victory came at Kansas Speedway last season. The win is the 18th for Target Chip Ganassi Racing in the IndyCar Series, and 58th overall in open wheel racing. The team also won this season with Dixon at Homestead-Miami.
Wheldon and Dixon combined to lead 194 laps, bringing Target Chip Ganassi Racing's total to 520 in the eight races at Kansas.
For the second time this season, Chip Ganassi Racing's Rolex Sports Car Series program started off the weekend with a win for the organization with Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas behind the wheel of the No.01 TELMEX Riley. The IndyCar and Rolex Series teams also accomplished the feat at Homestead Miami Speedway earlier this year. Adding to the momentum was Ganassi's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Juan Pablo Montoya's second place finish at Talladega Superspeedway, which catapulted him up five positions into the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
With the podium finish, Dixon cut Helio Castroneves' 12 point IndyCar championship lead in half to maintain second position with 138 points, while Wheldon moves up from fifth to third with 135 points (-9).
Team Target Quoteboard:
Scott Dixon "That's two weeks in a row. We definitely lost the race ourselves. It's just something we have to work on. At least a Target car won this weekend. Congrats to Dan. He was just sitting back smartly and saving a bit of fuel. It's something we need to work on strategy wise. We came away with good points and are still in the championship and that's what counts."
Dan Wheldon "It was a really good weekend for everyone at Target Chip Ganassi Racing. It's unfortunate for Scott about when the yellow fell. I'm sure he'll make up for that later in the year. The cars were very competitive the whole weekend. The crews preformed flawlessly, and that's the kind of weekend you want. It's great to have that weekend leading into Indianapolis."