IRL: Indy 500: Chip Ganassi Racing day five report

All IndyCar Practice Day 3 Day III Practice at Indy-- Following two days of sun and hot temperatures, the third day of practice was held under overcast skies and with much cooler weather and for the second day in a row, Target Chip Ganassi ...

All IndyCar Practice Day 3

Day III Practice at Indy-- Following two days of sun and hot temperatures, the third day of practice was held under overcast skies and with much cooler weather and for the second day in a row, Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon was once again the fastest of the three team entries in practice for the Indianapolis 500. After running 59 laps, he finished the day in ninth spot on the speed charts with a recorded speed of 226.183 miles per hour in the No.9T Target Toyota Panoz.

"We didn't do a lot running today but we did trim out no.9 Target Toyota a bit more and it was pretty quick on its own," said Dixon. "We're working on getting a bit more stability in the rear on entry to the turns. We found some positive things today that we'll test out tomorrow."

Teammate Darren Manning posted a fast lap of 225.431 mph in the no.9T Target Toyota (back up car) putting him in 14th spot before doing some runs in the primary car. Manning returned to his back up car with a half hour left to the end of the session but on his second fast lap, lost control of the rear and found himself testing the safer barrier in turn 2. Manning climbed from the car, was checked and released from the Clarian Emergency Medical Center.

"We just changed cars and maybe the feel was just slightly different," said Manning. "I was just on a build-up lap on pretty low downforce and tires were cold. Tried to stick it in up to speed a bit too fast. I wasn't at full speed so it certainly was as big a hit as it may have looked but it did more damage to the car than to me. The safer barrier did exactly what it was designed for and for that I am very grateful."

The no.33 Target Toyota of Ryan Briscoe ran a speed of 224.343 mph putting him 19th on the scoring sheets.

"Overall, we had a good solid day of testing today," said Briscoe. "I'm continuing to get more familiar with my surroundings here at Indianapolis, and it's growing on me fast. We had some braking issues through one part of the afternoon, but after we ironed then out I felt we made some gains on the car. We didn't get a big tow like some of the others which leads to a really fast lap, but I'm pleased with where we are and we'll get better each day moving forward."

The fastest lap of the day was posted by Danica Patrick who set the bar even higher with a fast lap speed of 227.633 miles per hour.

Put Your Money Where You Mouth Is!!-- Following the second day of practice for the 89th running of the Indianapolis 500, the hot topic among Target Chip Ganassi Racing drivers Darren Manning and Ryan Briscoe was pole speeds for the May Classic. After much debate, Manning-- being the English gentleman he is-- placed a wager on the soon-to-be-decided estimated four-lap average for pole at 228 mph. His rookie Ganassi stablemate quipped back with a hesitant 226 mph estimate of four tours around the Brickyard.

After going back and forth on who was better versed in matters of velocity, Manning-- the senior member of the group discussion-- decided the issue would have to wait to be settled after Saturday's Pole Day. And what were the stakes placed between the two IndyCar pilots you might ask?... A measly five bucks.

Place Your Bets!!-- If you are looking to place your bets on this year's Indy 500 winning car, Darren Manning is a VERY good bet as the past two years, the winning horse at the Kentucky Derby and the winner of the Indianapolis 500 have coincidentally shared the same number. In 2004, Smarty Jones and Buddy Rice both carried the number 15, while the previous year Funny Cide and Gil de Ferran were winners with the number 6. This year's winner of the Kentucky Derby, Giacomo wore the number 10. Certainly a good omen for the #10 Target Toyota and Darren Manning!

The Daily Blog-- Starting May 9th and for the entire month of May, leading up to the 89th running of the Indianapolis 500, all three Target IndyCar drivers will post a daily blog (a web log or online diary) for fans. Check in on the www.targetracing.com site everyday throughout the month to see what Scott Dixon, Darren Manning and Ryan Briscoe are thinking about and doing in preparation for the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing".

-cgr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Darren Manning , Gil de Ferran , Scott Dixon , Buddy Rice , Ryan Briscoe , Chip Ganassi , Danica Patrick
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Chip Ganassi Racing