IRL: Homestead: Chip Ganassi Racing race report

Sixth Place Finish for Target at Season Opener Homestead, FL- Sunday, March 6th, 2004--Homestead Miami Speedway saw a bit more yellow than just the Florida sun for the 2005 season opening race as the Toyota Indy 300 provided a little more ...

Sixth Place Finish for Target at Season Opener

Homestead, FL- Sunday, March 6th, 2004--Homestead Miami Speedway saw a bit more yellow than just the Florida sun for the 2005 season opening race as the Toyota Indy 300 provided a little more action and a few more cautions than Target Chip Ganassi Racing would have liked.

The good news was that Target's Darren Manning improved on his 12th place starting position to take home some valuable points that put him in sixth place in the overall driver standings.

"Sixth place is a solid result for the #10 Target Toyota and crew," said Manning who finished in the same position last year at Miami as well. "We didn't quite have the speed but we did manage to avoid most of the major incidents out there today. I did have some slight contact with Vitor Meira during that whole melee but that caused just some minimal damage to the front wing. We'll just look forward to Phoenix where we'll definitely look to be strong."

Scott Dixon unfortunately saw his day come to premature end as his #9 Target Toyota Panoz got caught up in an accident on lap 158 that collected a total of eight drivers. None were seriously injured.

"I'm not sure what happened exactly but it looks like someone just lost it and everyone checked up and got gathered up in the mess," said Dixon who escaped unhurt from the incident. "I got hit pretty hard from the back but there really wasn't anything anyone could do. It's a shame to start the season off like this but the Target team put together a good car and we'll be good to go in Phoenix."

The Target team's newest member, rookie Ryan Briscoe felt the growing pains that come with learning to adapt to the IndyCar brand of oval superspeedway racing when he spun the #33 Target Toyota on lap 62 and made contact with the SAFER barrier in turn four. Briscoe emerged unscathed from the incident.

"I was running a pretty good race and enjoying myself out there," said the young Australian who joins the Target team as the third entry for the 2005 season. "I had some clean pit stops and making a few positions and just feeling really good out there. I was at the back of the big pack and unfortunately, probably due to a lack of experience, I just got a pocket of air over in turn 3 and the rear came out on me and that was it."

After eleven lead changes among eight drivers, the checkered flag waved at the 1.5 mile oval for race winner Dan Wheldon, who was followed closely in second spot by last year's winner Sam Hornish Jr. The 2004 IndyCar series champion, Tony Kanaan rounded out the top three.

Target Chip Ganassi Racing will return to race action in two weeks time at the 1 mile Phoenix International Raceway for the two day XM Satellite Radio Indy 200 presented by Argent Mortgage in Phoenix, Arizona, the second race of the 16-race IndyCar season. Target fans can tune in to watch the Phoenix race on ABC at 4:00 pm (EDT) Saturday, March 19th 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 targetracing.com for news, features, photos and much more.

-cgr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Darren Manning , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Ryan Briscoe , Chip Ganassi , Sam Hornish Jr. , Vitor Meira
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing