Target Team Doesn't Get Any the Love in Virginia Night Race Richmond, VA. Friday, June 25, 2005--Saturday night racing fever hit Richmond International Raceway but a dose of Tylenol may be in order to help dull the collective headache that...
Target Team Doesn't Get Any the Love in Virginia Night Race
Richmond, VA. Friday, June 25, 2005--Saturday night racing fever hit Richmond International Raceway but a dose of Tylenol may be in order to help dull the collective headache that the Target Chip Ganassi Racing Team was left with after the trio of Target Toyotas were denied the chance to see the finish line at the SunTrust Indy Challenge following three separate incidents.
Darren Manning came closest to posting a strong finish as he fought his way into the top ten on several occasions and was in seventh place with 10 laps to go when contact with the no.24 car brought his race to an unceremonious end. The driver of the no.10 Target Toyota Panoz was credited with a 15th place finish.
"We were really doing well midway through the race," said Manning, "and I was working my way up when I had my seat belts come undone but the Target crew did an great job to get them done up on the next stop and sent me back out without having lost too many spots. I fought my way back into the top 10 and was 7th when (Roger) Yasukaka slowed down quite a bit ahead of me and let (Kosuke) Matsuura by. I went passed him as well and thought I had the line and was clear when my left rear tire and his right front made contact and put us out. It's unfortunate because the no.10 Target Toyota was really strong but we'll just keep doing what we're doing and look forward to getting back on track with a good race in Kansas."
Having qualified a season best third for the Saturday night race, Target's Ryan Briscoe battled to maintain his position with driver of the no.27 car, Dario Franchitti, for much of his race. They often exchanged passing opportunities, but on lap 88, as the no.33 Target Toyota came up on a traffic jam fairly quickly, the young rookie found himself in the marbles and subsequently against the wall when he had to swerve wide trying to avoid another car.
"I'm so very disappointed for the Target team as we really did have a good weekend and put the No.33 Target Toyota right up front in third spot on the grid," said the young IndyCar rookie who was credited with a 21st place finish."I came up really quickly on that traffic jam and everyone slowed up more than I was expecting. I had to go wide to avoid (Dan) Wheldon and got up into the marbles and the car came around on me. It's really unfortunate because the team put together a fantastic car for me and Toyota test we had here last week was really beneficial. It was a great race to that point and it was really fun to be battling for position out there on what is a terrific track. As disappointed as I am with how my race ended, I can sincerely say that we can take more positives out of this weekend than negatives."
Scott Dixon's race was short and anything but sweet as the no.27 car tried to make a pass on the inside and made contact with the no.9 Target Toyota sending Dixon up into the wall and ending his day on lap 37.
The Target Team prepares to head west this week for a Fourth of July race weekend in Kansas for the Argent Mortgage Indy 300 at Kansas Speedway on Sunday July 3rd (1:00 pm EDT on ESPN). Throughout the 2005 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.