IRL: Fontana: Chip Ganassi Racing race report

8th Place Finish for no.1 Pink Target Entry Fontana, California- Sunday October 3rd, 2004--The no.01 PINK Target Chip Ganassi Racing car not only brought Breast Cancer awareness to the forefront this weekend at California Speedway but it also...

8th Place Finish for no.1 Pink Target Entry

Fontana, California- Sunday October 3rd, 2004--The no.01 PINK Target Chip Ganassi Racing car not only brought Breast Cancer awareness to the forefront this weekend at California Speedway but it also had a front row starting position for the Toyota Indy 400 after Scott Dixon had his best qualifying effort of the 2004 IndyCar season.

Dixon battled in the top ten for most of the day but unfortunately also dealt with a car that had a bit too much understeer to be able to make big gains.

"It was a very average race for the Target team today, said Dixon who crossed the finish line in 8th place. "While it was great to have the PINK Target car start from the front row and put some attention on an important issue like breast cancer research, from a race team standpoint, we may have concentrated on qualifying a bit too much and should have put our efforts more on the race set up. The car was just really loose on entry into the corners and I had some trouble on the high line. We'll just get ready for Texas and work on finishing the season on a high note."

Teammate Darren Manning qualified fourth for the Toyota Indy 400 with his first lap effort of 215.822 mph (33.3608 seconds) but did not compete in the race at California Speedway after his Toyota/ G Force got loose coming out of Turn 1 on his second qualifying lap and made contact with the wall.

The driver of the no.10 Target car was taken to Loma Linda Hospital for precautionary x-rays after complaining of some discomfort in his back and was held for observation overnight. A CT scan of his head, neck and chest area were conducted and came back negative. Following a more extensive examination (MRI conducted on his back), it was determined that he had a slight concussion and a severe contusion or a minimal compression fracture of the T5 vertebrae.

"I was pretty loose on the first lap and on then on the second lap, I'm not sure what happened exactly," said Manning who did get out of the car on his own following the accident. "It may have been just a gust of wind, but I was very loose, and the car came around on me, and the rest is just a bit fuzzy. I'm pretty sore right now and disappointed not to have been able to race but I've been in very good hands and I should be back fairly quickly."

Manning was released from the hospital and returned to Indianapolis on Sunday. He will be re-evaluated by IRL Senior Medical Director Dr. Henry Bock on Monday and Dr. Terry Trammell in a week's time.

Tony Kanaan was crowned the 2004 IRL IndyCar Series 2004 champion (with one race left to go) after finishing 0.0183 of a second behind race winner Adrian Fernandez after a one-lap shoot out after a caution period. Fernandez, who notched his third victory in the past five races and the second in a row, crossed the start/ finish line in second place next to Kanaan on the restart but put the nose of the car ahead exiting Turn 4 for the win. Kanaan's teammate Dan Wheldon finished third.

Target Chip Ganassi Racing will return to race action in two weeks time at the 1.5 mile Texas Motor Speedway in Dallas/ Fort Worth, Texas for the Chevy 500K, the final race of the 16-race IndyCar season. Target fans can tune in to watch the Texas finale on ABC at 3:00 pm (EDT) Sunday, October 17th or they can listen in on the IMS Radio Network. Throughout the 2004 season, fans are invited to follow the team's progress by logging onto their official website at target.com/racing for news, features, photos and much more.

-cgr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Darren Manning , Adrian Fernandez , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Chip Ganassi
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing