IRL: Kentucky: Chip Ganassi Racing preview

Target Team Advance Notes & Quotes Coming Up this Weekend-- Target Chip Ganassi Racing will prepare their Honda powered Dallaras to take on the 1.5 mile asphalt tri-oval of Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, KY, for a 200 lap contest. The Kentucky ...

Target Team Advance Notes & Quotes

Coming Up this Weekend-- Target Chip Ganassi Racing will prepare their Honda powered Dallaras to take on the 1.5 mile asphalt tri-oval of Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, KY, for a 200 lap contest. The Kentucky race features fast, wide open racing and boasts two of the 20-closest finishes in series history. It was also known as the bumpiest track on the IndyCar circuit however recent changes may have improved the track surface. This will be the 12th of 14 races on the 2006 schedule.

The Final Stretch-- Just three races remain and the IndyCar Series Championship battle gets even more interesting as Helio Castroneves (376 points) took over the points lead by eight over his teammate, Sam Hornish Jr. (368) after taking the win in Michigan two weekends ago. Target's Dan Wheldon (359) moved up into third spot and is within 17 points of the leader, while teammate Scott Dixon (345 points) falls to fourth in the championship standings, 31 points in arrears of the top spot.

While some may look at the driver's points standings and think that the championship has already been decided, Scott Dixon's experience in winning the 2003 IndyCar Series title has taught him different.

"With three races to go in 2003, I was in fourth place in the driver standings with a 42 point deficit behind Castroneves," said Dixon who won the championship with a second place finish in the season finale. "There were five of us in the hunt and it was consistency, the Target team's "never give up" attitude and teamwork that won us the championship that year. We are nowhere near ready to give up on that now. The last two races were very frustrating for us but with three races left, we still can do this. We have all the elements to be successful. I've got two wins this year and I'm looking for more. I started second and finished second at Kentucky in 2003. No one should count us out."

2005 IndyCar champion Dan Wheldon has every intention of defending his title.

"I came to the Target team with a lot of goals, and one of them was to win the championship with a new team," said Wheldon posted his first victory for the team in the season opener at Homestead-Miami. "That hasn't changed. I can't deny that it has been disappointing not to capitalize on every opportunity we had this year. We've had a lot of them but there was always something. But with just three races left, we are that much more motivated to win. I've had less wins than any of the other drivers in the hunt but I'm only 17 points out. It's a great opportunity to show what we have now and I intend on battling to the end."

Check the Rear View Mirrors-- In 2003, at Kentucky, Scott Dixon qualified second then finished second, marking his best start and finish in three career races at the venue. Dan Wheldon finished third in his last two races at Kentucky Speedway. His best starting position came in 2005 with a second place spot on the grid.

-credit: www.chipganassiracing.com

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Scott Dixon , Dan Wheldon , Chip Ganassi , Sam Hornis
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing