Dixon Delivers Top Five Drive For Team Target in Preparation For Rolex 24 Hour Run DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 3, 2005) -- Team Target got off to a splendid start Thursday afternoon in overcast Daytona Beach as 2003 IndyCar Champion Scott...
Dixon Delivers Top Five Drive For Team Target in Preparation For Rolex 24 Hour Run
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 3, 2005) -- Team Target got off to a splendid start Thursday afternoon in overcast Daytona Beach as 2003 IndyCar Champion Scott Dixon drove the no.03 Target Lexus-Riley to the fifth-best qualifying effort of the day at 1:47.480 (119.241mph) in preparation for the 43rd running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The 500hp machine trimmed in special Target livery will look to make history in its debut in the Rolex Sports Car Series with an all-star lineup of Dixon, IndyCar teammate Darren Manning and Casey Mears from the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series.
The all-Target Team represents the upper echelons of motorsport this weekend with its deep roots in the open wheel and stock car racing landscapes, but the team will have to adapt quickly to an ever-changing environment spanning 24 hours, three drivers, and just one machine.
"It's a very different format of qualifying and it certainly doesn't give us a lot of time to make any adjustments," said Dixon, who will make his second career Rolex 24 start after pairing with polewinner Scott Pruett a year ago. "The no.03 Target car was fast all day, but I think we got just a bit greedy and ended up trimming the car out too much, making it too light for qualifying. We feel we could definitely have qualified better, but starting the Lexus-Riley in the top five is still good. Now we can concentrate on getting the car perfect for the race."
Although Mears was absent from the day's on-track festivities due to prior NASCAR commitments in the team's 800 hp no.41 Target Dodge, he will join his Target stablemates first thing Friday morning for the Rolex Series Daytona Prototype practice session.
Dixon and Manning will continue to provide feedback for the team until Mears materializes-- utilizing past experiences which produced a podium run for Chip Ganassi Racing to close out the 2004 season at California Speedway.
Fans of Target Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates can catch the no.03 Target Lexus-Riley in action at the Rolex 24 at Daytona beginning Saturday, February 5th at 12:00 pm ET (LIVE, SPEED Channel). Follow the team's progress throughout the race weekend by logging on to the official website at www.target.com/racing for news, features, photos and much more.