Wheldon Posts Third Place Finish for Target at Michigan Brooklyn, MI, July 30, 2006--Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Dan Wheldon finished third and posted his sixth top-five finish of the season in Sunday's rain delayed running of the Firestone...
Wheldon Posts Third Place Finish for Target at Michigan
Brooklyn, MI, July 30, 2006--Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Dan Wheldon finished third and posted his sixth top-five finish of the season in Sunday's rain delayed running of the Firestone Indy 400 at Michigan International Speedway, while teammate Scott Dixon finished 16th after falling two laps down early in the race.
Helio Castroneves overtook second place finisher, Vitor Meira, following a round of pit stops on lap 133 then proceeded to open up a lead of more than four seconds for his fourth win this season. Wheldon had some drafting help from his Target teammate, Dixon, but was unable to make gains on the leader in the end.
"Chip Ganassi said we were half-a-mile an hour off speed from the front two cars," said Wheldon who early on, led four times for a total of 14 laps. "It's unfortunate for Sam (Hornish Jr.) because he seems to have had some bad luck, and I'm not sure why he went down. It's always disappointing to see somebody go out like that, but at the same time we made up points. I think we got the best out of what we had today. We just weren't quite strong enough. I'm not saying that we didn't put the effort in. Certainly, everybody at Chip Ganassi Racing worked very, very hard. Scott (Dixon) helped me at the end, and I appreciate that."
Scott Dixon was running second to teammate and race leader Dan Wheldon on lap 43 just before the first pitstop when the caution flag came out. As the pits opened and the two Target cars were making their way in, the no.9 Target Honda ran out of fuel on the backstretch, necessitating a tow into the pits, with the result of dropping Dixon two laps down and out of contention.
Just three races remain and the IndyCar Series Championship battle gets even more interesting as Helio Castroneves (376 points) takes over the points lead by eight over his teammate, Sam Hornish Jr. (368) who dropped to second in the standing by failing to finish the race due to mechanical difficulties. Target's Dan Wheldon (359) moves up into third spot and is within 17 points of the leader, while Scott Dixon (345 points) falls to fourth in the championship standings.
The next stop for the Target team is Kentucky Speedway in two weeks time for the 12th race on the 14 race IndyCar Series 2006 schedule.