IPS: IRL: Iowa: Chip Ganassi Racing preview

THIS WEEKEND'S INDYCAR ACTION: Target Team drivers Scott Dixon (No.9 Target Honda-powered Dallara) and Dan Wheldon (No.10 Target Honda-powered Dallara) head to a brand new track in Newton, Iowa, for the inaugural Iowa Corn Growers Indy& ...

THIS WEEKEND'S INDYCAR ACTION: Target Team drivers Scott Dixon (No.9 Target Honda-powered Dallara) and Dan Wheldon (No.10 Target Honda-powered Dallara) head to a brand new track in Newton, Iowa, for the inaugural Iowa Corn Growers Indy™ 250 presented by Ethanol on June 22-24. The race will run 250 laps (218.75 miles) on the short oval at Iowa Speedway.

The team will be sporting a new livery this weekend as the no.9 Target Honda, driver Scott Dixon and crew will once again trade in the traditional red and white for the blue and white colours of team sponsor, Commit. Originally the car was to run at Texas Motor Speedway, but after contact with the wall during practice it was replaced with the original Target back-up car for qualifying and the race.

The Iowa Corn Growers Indy™ 250 presented by Ethanol is the 8th race in 17-race 2007 season.

INDY PRO SERIES ACTION: The Target Team expanded its Indy Racing League program this season with the addition of an Indy Pro Series effort, set to contest the 2007 season of the development series, with driver Chris Festa in the no.9 CareCentric Target Chip Ganassi Racing entry. Festa will take to the track for practice, qualifying on Friday, then race in the Iowa 115 at 5:00 pm (ET) on Saturday, June 23. The race will be televised at 12:00 pm, Tuesday, July 3rd on ESPN2.

VENUE: Iowa Speedway is a 7/8 of a mile asphalt oval with 12-14 degree banked turns, a front stretch that measures 1075 feet, a backstretch that is 869 feet, and has a track width of 60 feet. The track officially opened in 2006 and this will be the IndyCar Series inaugural event at the venue. The Iowa Speedway was co-designed by Rusty Wallace, making it the first driver-designed track on the circuit.

TV RACE BROADCAST AIR DATE: ABC 1:00 pm (ET), Sunday, June 24, 2007

CATCH IT LIVE ON THE WEB: The Indycar.com website features LIVE video streaming in addition to LIVE timing & scoring, audio from the IMS Radio Network, a chat feature and links to other videos. Streaming video also will be available live for all practice and qualifying sessions from Iowa Speedway.

COMMITTED TO SUCCESS: The no.9 Target car, driver Scott Dixon and crew will be showing off the blue and white colours of Commit nicotine lozenges this weekend in Iowa. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Consumer Healthcare has the only smoking cessation sponsorship in motorsports with its brands Nicorette nicotine gum, NicoDerm CQ nicotine patches and Commit nicotine lozenges. GSK Consumer Healthcare's motorsports involvement also features the first-of-its-kind "QUIT Crew" program that provides smoking cessation coaching to racing teams including Chip Ganassi Racing. Over 200 participants from the racing community have enrolled. For more information, go to quit2winracing.com

IOWA PREVIEW: Scott Dixon previewed the Iowa Speedway last year for the IndyCar series by taking some laps in the no.9 Target Honda for an initial feasibility test.

"From the first time on it, I think for us, we were very conservative with the car. But the facility, even though it was not quite finished yet at the time, looked great. The track is unique. I think it's not like any other that we run on. I think more racetracks that we get to go to with different character, different kind of size, configuration for us is very good.

We have a lot of mile and a half tracks and even sister tracks that we race on, which the racing is great. But having a track I think under a mile length while still providing the banking and the progressive corners, will enable us to race side by side, and I think that will make it a huge race and extremely close with a lot of passing for the fans to watch."

RACE ACTION SHOULD BE HOT! HOT! HOT!: Extreme heat could add another dimension to the physical test drivers already expect to face as current forecasts call for highs in the mid-90s on both Saturday and Sunday.

LIGHT THE CANDLES: Dan Wheldon will be celebrating his 29th birthday this Friday, June 22 in Iowa.

THE (Championship) RACE IS ON! After seven races, Scott Dixon retains his third place position in the IndyCar Series Championship standings with 234 points, 19 points behind leader Dario Franchitti (253 points) and seven behind the second place position of Tony Kanaan (241 points). Dan Wheldon (233 points) drops down to fourth place just one point behind his Target teammate. Sam Hornish Jr. rounds out the top five with 226 points.

SEASON HIGHLIGHTS: As the mid-way point of the season approaches, highlights include ten top-5 finishes to date, a pole position and two race wins. The Target team has lead 623 laps of a possible 1319, as Dan Wheldon leads the most laps of any IndyCar driver with 573 laps, while Dixon keeps his streak of running at the finish alive at 23 consecutive races.

A LOOK IN THE REAR VIEW MIRROR: Dan Wheldon earned the pole in Homestead and took the top spot in both Homestead-Miami and Kansas this season. Scott Dixon finished second in Homestead-Miami, on the streets of St. Petersburg and the Indianapolis 500.

LAST RACE: The Bombardier LearJet 550K at Texas Motor Speedway

-credit: cgr

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About this article
Series IndyCar , Indy Lights
Drivers Rusty Wallace , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Chip Ganassi , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Chip Ganassi Racing