CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Target Chicago preview

Chicago -- Team Target phenom Juan Montoya will aim for his second straight CART victory and his second consecutive Target Grand Prix win on Sunday as the Champ Cars head to Chicago. Montoya jumped from ninth to fifth in the CART point...

Chicago -- Team Target phenom Juan Montoya will aim for his second straight CART victory and his second consecutive Target Grand Prix win on Sunday as the Champ Cars head to Chicago. Montoya jumped from ninth to fifth in the CART point standings following his victory in Sunday's Michigan Speedway, his second 500-mile race win of the year (Montoya won the Indy 500 on May 28). "The timing for that win [Michigan 500] was perfect," said Montoya, who also earned the checkered flag in Milwaukee on June 4. "We had a few difficult races in a row, so that big win was great for our confidence. Now we're heading to Chicago, where we had a good run last year and really got some momentum in the race for the championship." Montoya started 10th in the inaugural Target Grand Prix, but cruised to the victory, beating out Dario Franchitti (second) and teammate Jimmy Vasser (third). "The Target Grand Prix was a great event last year, and I know they'll put on another great race this year," Montoya said. "This is an important time of year for our team. Chicago is our last oval for awhile, so it's important for us to get some good points here and continue to gain on the leaders. I have some great memories from my last race in Chicago. I would love to hit the bulls-eye again and make some more good memories on Sunday." Vasser is also looking forward to his second race at Chicago Motor Speedway. The 1996 CART champion placed third in the 1999 Target Grand Prix. Vasser is aiming for a return trip the podium, a place he has not stood since his second place effort in Rio on April 30. "There are too many races left to get discouraged, and we're only 41 points off the lead," Vasser said. "We have to score points in the remaining nine races in order to give us a shot at the title, and there's not one person on this team who thinks we can't do it." According to Vasser, a return to the Windy City might be exactly what his team needs to jump-start the season. "The Target Grand Prix is one of the most anticipated stops on the circuit from the drivers' perspective," Vasser said. "Chicago is a great town and the atmosphere surrounding the race is phenomenal. This event energized us last year and we got to the podium. We plan to get back there again on Sunday." Team Target owner Chip Ganassi, who also serves as president of Chicago Motor Speedway, is just as excited about the return to the Target Grand Prix as his drivers are. "With both Jimmy and Juan on the podium at Target's race last year -- it couldn't have been much better," Ganassi said. "The whole team is looking forward to the second race in Chicago. This is the time of year when our experience and teamwork begins to pay off. I like our team's focus. They all know our goals and are doing everything in their power to achieve them."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Dario Franchitti , Chip Ganassi