IRL: Richmond: Ganassi Racing race report

Eighth Place Finish for Target at Richmond Richmond, Virginia, June 26th , 2004-- Target Chip Ganassi Racing comes out of Richmond with both their drivers retaining the fifth and sixth place in the 2004 IndyCar championship, with only their...

Eighth Place Finish for Target at Richmond

Richmond, Virginia, June 26th , 2004-- Target Chip Ganassi Racing comes out of Richmond with both their drivers retaining the fifth and sixth place in the 2004 IndyCar championship, with only their respective positions reversed. Scott Dixon moves into fifth spot in the driver standings with an eighth place finish in Saturday night's SunTrust Indy Challenge. Teammate Darren Manning takes sixth place in the standings after seeing his race come to a premature end on lap 132.

The 250 lap race was won by Dan Wheldon, his second victory of the season. The Indy Racing League adjusted the finishing order of the second and third and fourth and fifth-place finishers immediately following the race after determining that the on-track caution lights remained on during the final lap of the race. That gave Vitor Meira his best career finish with a second place, while Helio Castroneves was credited with third.

Defending Richmond race winner Scott Dixon started the race strong from sixth place on the grid but did had some very minor contact early on with Thomas Scheckter which, given the amount of traffic and restrictive maneuverability of a tight three-quarter mile oval, was not completely unexpected nor unusual, but certainly made for an action packed race under the lights.

"The Toyota / G-Force was pretty good at the start of the race but for whatever reason I started to have difficulty passing," said Dixon about having trouble trying to make his way up the field. "Whenever I got close to anyone I'd had quite a bit of oversteer, so traffic became the biggest issue for the rest of the race. We'll take the eighth place finish but the Target team is looking for a little more consistency. We know we're better than this and we hope to show that next week in Kansas."

Darren Manning, in contrast, had a great run going to get to the front of the field from his eleventh place starting position and was among the leaders in sixth place before contact with the wall put him out of the race.

"Things were going so well for us and my Toyota/G Force was great on the inside line but after my Target crew made a front wing adjustment in the first pit stop the car was just marvelous," said Manning. "It gave me the chance to take the high line as well. I was working my way up and really thought this was going to be our race. On that restart, I think Scott Sharp checked up on Sam Hornish who then let up as well and had a wiggle sending him up a bit. I lifted as well and ended up a little higher into the marbles, hit the wall and damaged the right front suspension and that was it for us. It's a big shame, really. Team Target and Toyota are doing such a great job. We probably had the fastest car out there. It's just a shame that we've had our last few races finish this way. You take some chances, and you get other people making mistakes that cost you the race. I'm very disappointed that leave here without valuable points but at the same time I'm very confident that we'll have some good races ahead of us. There's still some time to battle for the championship."

Target Chip Ganassi Racing now prepare for this coming Fourth of July race weekend and the seventh race in 16-race 2004 season, the Argent Mortgage Indy 300 at Kansas Raceway. Target fans can watch the race on ABC at 12:30 pm (EDT) Sunday, July 4th or they can listen in on the IMS Radio Network. Throughout the 2004 season, fans are invited to follow the team's progress by logging onto their official website at target.com/racing for news, features, photos and much more.

-tcgr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Darren Manning , Scott Sharp , Helio Castroneves , Scott Dixon , Dan Wheldon , Chip Ganassi , Sam Hornis , Vitor Meira
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Chip Ganassi Racing