IRL: Indy 500: Chip Ganassi Racing day five report

Dan Wheldon ...

Dan Wheldon #10 Target Honda Dallara --

Position:          2nd

Best Speed: 226.088 mph
Best Time: 39.8075 seconds

"I think we made more improvements to the no.10 Target car. Sam Hornish Jr. is comfortably fast so we still have some work to do. The good thing is that we've improved the car each day and that's the goal. I think we're definitely pole contenders but we've still go some gains to make."

Scott Dixon #9 Target Honda Dallara --

Position:          4th

Best Speed: 225.309 mph
Best Time: 39.9451 seconds

"Just a little frustrated today because we're a bit slower than we should be as we were running a slightly more trimmed out. We did do some qualifying simulations but we're still looking for a bit more speed. Conditions were pretty different today but we got some good work in and hopefully we'll get in a good day of practice tomorrow."

NOTES:

Today's Practice: Start of practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway was delayed due to rain. The Target Team took to the track at 2:30 pm and proceeded to improve their cars from the previous day's practice. Dan Wheldon improved to 2nd place with a timed lap speed of 226.088 mph. Scott Dixon set the fourth fastest lap time with a speed of 225.309 mph.

"Four Wheel Drive" - Those with a penchant for numerology might examine the number four (4) in regards to Scott Dixon:

* Heading towards the Indianapolis 500 Dixon is fourth in the IndyCar championship

* The Indianapolis 500 will be the fourth race of the 2006 IndyCar season.

* Dixon will line up on the grid at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the fourth time in his career.

* For the 2003 Indianapolis 500, on his way to the IndyCar Series title, Dixon qualified fourth as a rookie.

* In 2002, Dixon drove the no. 44 Target car.

* Fellow New Zealander, Denis Hulme won rookie of the year at Indianapolis in 1967 with a fourth place. The following year he finished fourth yet again.

* Only four other New Zealanders have ever participated in the Indy 500; Denis Hulme, Graham McRae, Chris Amon and Bruce McLaren but only the first two ever raced in the 500 event.

* In the first practice session on May 9th, Dixon was, yes, fourth-quickest and if you really want to get technical, add the date left-to-right 9.5.2006 then add the total 22 together and, it comes to four.

* In the second practice session on May 10th, Dixon was eight quickest. (2 x 4)

* On Day 3, Dixon was once again fourth fastest in practice.

Coming Up This Month - Target Chip Ganassi Racing, along with drivers Scott Dixon and Dan Wheldon are preparing for the 90th running of the prestigious Indianapolis 500. Qualifying is set to take place on the 2.5 mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway this Saturday, May 13th (Pole Day) from 12 to 6 pm EDT. Teams will take to the track everyday for practice from 12 noon to 6 pm, weather permitting.

First All IndyCar Practice (Practice 1)-- Scott Dixon and defending race winner Dan Wheldon took to the track aboard their Honda Dallaras for the first time this month in preparation for the famed race. Wheldon posted the third fastest lap time of the day with a speed of 223.916 mph, followed closely by Scott Dixon in fourth spot with a speed of 223.797 mph. Both Target cars were just behind the Penske 1-2 of Sam Hornish Jr. and Helio Castroneves. A light rain forced the track to close with just over an hour remaining in practice

Day 2 -Practice- Driver of the no.10 Target Honda, Dan Wheldon broke the 225 mph barrier and sat atop the scoring tower for most of the day (225.636 mph) until shortly before the rain shortened practice when Sam Hornish Jr. (226.056 mph) topped the speed charts for the second consecutive day. Target teammate Scott Dixon placed eighth with a speed of 223.830 mph.

"Gentlemen, Start your Honda!"- Both Target cars and each Indianapolis 500 entrant will receive a new Honda Indy V-8 engine for first day of practice on May 9. Teams must use that engine through practice and qualifying. All qualified cars will receive a new engine for Carb Day for use in the race. IndyCar Series regulars must use the same engine for the event at Watkins Glen.

"It makes it more of a challenge, and you're limited to 1,200 miles on the first motor," says Target Team manager of Race Operations, Barry Wanser. "We did more than that last year with Scott (Dixon), especially when you start doing full-tank running the second week. It will be a challenge to make the most of it. It's the same for everybody, but you have to be careful with your track management and time to get the most out it. The first week is all about getting the pole. You could throw in some full-tank running in the mix of doing qualifying sims. It definitely will be interesting for everybody."

-cgr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Scott Dixon , Dan Wheldon , Bruce McLaren , Chris Amon , Chip Ganassi , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing