IRL: Chicagoland: Chip Ganassi Racing preview

* Target Chip Ganassi Racing heads to the D-shaped 1.5 mile asphalt tri-oval at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois this weekend for the Delphi Indy 200 (200 laps / 300 miles). It is the fourteenth race of the 16- race 2004 IRL IndyCar series...

* Target Chip Ganassi Racing heads to the D-shaped 1.5 mile asphalt tri-oval at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois this weekend for the Delphi Indy 200 (200 laps / 300 miles). It is the fourteenth race of the 16- race 2004 IRL IndyCar series season. Only two more races remain after this race weekend in California and the season finale in Texas

* Both Scott Dixon and Darren Manning will be returning for the IRL IndyCar series 2005 season with Target Chip Ganassi Racing. The team announced this week that it has exercised its option to extend Darren Manning's driver agreement into the future. Terms of the agreement werel not disclosed. Scott Dixon signed a contact extension with the team this past May just prior to the Indianapolis 500.

* Darren Manning will make an appearance at ESPN Zone in downtown Chicago on Thursday, September 9th from 3:30 pm (local time) for media interviews and an autograph session with fans.

* Scott Dixon will be taking part in the International Race of Champions in Richmond, Virginia on Thursday, September 9th as IndyCar series 2004 Champion, prior to rejoining the team in Chicago on Friday for the IndyCar race weekend.

* Last year in the Chicagoland IndyCar series race, Scott Dixon qualified 5th and finished second just 0.009 seconds from victory.

* Presently, Darren Manning is 9th in the IndyCar series drivers championship standings with 296 points and Scott Dixon is 11th place with 277 points.

* At Nazareth two weeks ago, Darren Manning had his best career qualifying effort in the IndyCar Series to date, enabling him to start from fifth spot on the grid for the race. Manning finished sixth and teammate Scott Dixon finished 9th.

* Scott Dixon had a season high 2nd place finish at Phoenix International Raceway and has taken the checkered flag in the top-10 at seven races this year.

* In this his first IndyCar season, Darren Manning has finished a career high fourth place on three occasion (Japan, Nashville and Pikes Peak) and has crossed the finish line in the top-5 four times, and has eight top-tens.

* Target fans can tune in to watch the Chicago race on ABC at 1:30 pm (EDT) Sunday, September 12th or they can listen in on the IMS Radio Network.

#1 Scott Dixon- Toyota / Panoz G-Force /Firestone

"Last year's race was certainly an exciting one that went right to the wire. It was so close at the end and I finished just a hair (0.009 seconds) behind Sam (Hornish Jr.). I think it was one of the closest 1-2-3 finishes the IndyCar series had ever seen. Chicago is always a fun place to race and it always seems to be a good show for the fans. The Target team is coming off a better weekend in Nazareth where we had a top ten finish (9th place finish) and I've gotten my confidence back in the car. It was good to have a weekend off before coming to Chicago because now I feel more confident about finishing the season on a good note. It's been tough on the whole team to not be able to be as strong as we were last year but I am already looking forward to a strong 2005 season and having Darren Manning back as a teammate."

#10 Darren Manning- Toyota / Panoz G-Force /Firestone

"I had my best qualifying effort to date in our last race in Nazareth and I'd like to improve on that this weekend in Chicago. I'd also love to bring the no.10 Toyota/ Panoz G Force across the finish line in the top three. I've finished 4th three times now and the Target team keeps giving me really strong cars for each race. I've learned a lot this year and rewarding the team a win before the season comes to an end is my goal. Chicago would definitely be the place to do it because of the last few venues we have left on the schedule this year, this is a track that suits our cars best."

On Target Chip Ganassi Racing picking up the option on his contract for the 2005 season:

"I'm thrilled to be returning with the Target team for the 2005 season. Coming to a championship team and a class organization with a legacy for winning was an opportunity not many drivers get to have, but Chip Ganassi and the Target team gave me that chance to prove myself. It's given me a level of confidence and stability that I've never known and that I can truly appreciate. The team shared their vast and invaluable experience with me, provided a competitive car ever race weekend, and together we have had some measure of success. This past season was an incredible learning experience and I'm excited to be given the chance to continue to build on the relationships I have forged here because I truly believe that is a very important ingredient in the recipe for future success. Having Scott Dixon, the 2003 IndyCar series Champion, as a teammate has been valuable as well. We work really well together on and off the track and I'm looking forward to this Target team competing for top honors in the IndyCar series next season."

-cgr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Darren Manning , Scott Dixon , Chip Ganassi
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing