SCOTT DIXON CLAIMS POLE FOR ROAD RUNNER TURBO INDY 300 KANSAS CITY, Kan., Saturday, April 26, 2008 - Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Scott Dixon and Dan Wheldon swept the front row starting positions for Sunday's Road Runner Turbo Indy 300...
SCOTT DIXON CLAIMS POLE FOR ROAD RUNNER TURBO INDY 300
KANSAS CITY, Kan., Saturday, April 26, 2008 - Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Scott Dixon and Dan Wheldon swept the front row starting positions for Sunday's Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 at Kansas Speedway.
Dixon claimed his 10th career PEAK Motor Oil Pole Award with a four-lap average speed of 213.956 mph (1 minute, 42.3014 seconds). Dixon, driving the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone, will share Row 1 with teammate Dan Wheldon, the defending race winner. Wheldon, the final qualifier, had a four-lap average of 213.641 mph (1:42.4521).
"The Team Target cars were very close right off the trailer," said Dixon. "We didn't have to do too much to them. We changed the balance here and there a little bit. Dan (Wheldon) was maybe a tenth (of a second) quicker than us this morning. It was hard to tell because there were so many cars on track that you couldn't get a clean lap. I think we have to put a lot of it down to the guys on the team. The guys that prepare these cars are very critical to aerodynamics, especially when you're by yourself. In a pack it doesn't show that much, but a lot of credit goes to them for being ready for today."
Danica Patrick, who six days earlier made history by becoming the first female to win a major closed-course auto race, posted a four-lap average of 213.225 mph and will start third. Tomas Scheckter, making his IndyCar Series season debut in the No. 12 Luczo Dragon Racing car, will join her on Row 2. Vision Racing teammates A.J. Foyt IV and Ed Carpenter will share Row 3, with Foyt checking in with a career-best fourth.
Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich proclaimed April 26 "Danica Patrick Day" throughout the state.
The day will honor Patrick's accomplishment April 20 when she became the first female driver to win an IndyCar Series race by rallying to take the checkered flag in the Indy Japan 300.
"We have a new hero in Illinois," Governor Blagojevich said. "Danica made history last weekend and all of Illinois is proud to honor her talent and achievement."
Patrick was born in Beloit and grew up in Roscoe.
Conquest Racing has made several changes to its over-the-wall
crews. On the No. 34 car driven by Jaime Camara:
Outside rear: Kyle Sagan, Chicago
Inside rear: Ryan Negron, San Diego, Calif.
Jackman: Bryan Winn, Methuen, Mass.
On the No. 36 car driven by Enrique Bernoldi:
Inside rear: Kirk Patterson, Lafayette, Calif.
Luczo Dragon Racing is making its 2008 debut this weekend after testing at Kansas Speedway April 22. IndyCar Series veteran Tomas Scheckter is the driver for the team that is co-owned by Jay Penske and Steve Luczo. Penske is the son of Team Penske owner Roger Penske. Luczo is chairman of Seagate Technology. The team competed in one race last year, finishing fifth at the Indianapolis 500 with driver Ryan Briscoe.
Following is the over-the-wall pit crew for the team:
Race strategist: Jay Penske
Engineer: Ray Leto
Chief Mechanic: Simon Morley
Outside Front: Simon Morley
Inside Front: John Piccinotti
Outside Rear: Rob Maxey
Inside Rear: Tim White
Jackman: Pete Bloathner
Fueler: Jason Starr
Spotter: John Cummiskey
Marco Andretti's No. 26 car bears the 'Forsythe' moniker this weekend. The car name also has been NYSE, Gillette Fusion and Alpine this season. Forsythe, the official technology provider to Andretti Green Racing, has more than 50 locations in the United States, including one in Overland Park, Kan., approximately 20 miles from Kansas Speedway.
The crew of #34 Camara reports that the team missed most of the second practice session due to problems caused by running out of fuel at the end of the first session.
PEAK MOTOR OIL POLE QUALIFYING PRESENTED BY AUTOZONE NOTES:
* Scott Dixon wins his 10th career pole position in the IndyCar Series, including his second this season and his second at Kansas Speedway. Dixon won the pole for the season opening race at Homestead-Miami when he went on to lead 67 laps en route to winning the race. Dixon won the pole at Kansas in 2003, led 82 laps in that race and finished sixth.
* This is the 16th pole position for Target Chip Ganassi Racing in the IndyCar Series.
* This is the 34th time in IndyCar Series history that teammates have qualified 1-2 and the fourth time that Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammates have done so. The last time teammates started 1-2 was Aug. 26, 2007 at Infineon Raceway (Andretti Green Racing, Dario Franchitti and Danica Patrick). The last time Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammates started 1-2 was Michigan 2003 (Tomas Scheckter and Scott Dixon).
* Helio Castroneves' streak of six consecutive top-five starts was snapped.
* Tony Kanaan's streak of 20 consecutive top-10 starts was snapped.
* A.J. Foyt IV qualified a career-best fifth. His previous best start was sixth at Chicagoland in 2004.
* Marty Roth qualified a career-best seventh. His previous best start was eighth at Homestead-Miami earlier this season.
* Tomas Scheckter qualified fourth, which is his best start since starting second at California Speedway in 2005.
INDYCAR SERIES POST-QUALIFYING QUOTES:
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing, qualified first): "The Team Target cars were very close right off the trailer. We didn't have to do too much to them. We changed the balance here and there a little bit. Dan (Wheldon) was maybe a tenth (of a second) quicker than us this morning. It was hard to tell because there were so many cars on track that you couldn't get a clean lap. I think we have to put a lot of it down to the guys on the team. The guys that prepare these cars are very critical to aerodynamics, especially when you're by yourself. In a pack, it doesn't show that much, but a lot of credit goes to them for being ready for today."
DAN WHELDON (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing, qualified second): "It was a good day for Target Chip Ganassi Racing. I probably wasn't as aggressive as I should have been. But we do have a lot of work to do to be competitive tomorrow."
DANICA PATRICK (No. 7 Motorola, qualified third): "We arrived here with a good Motorola car. We had a good first run today, and the car is really well-balanced. Hopefully, we can get out in front of the red and white cars. My crew has worked really hard this week turning the car around."
TOMAS SCHECKTER (No. 12 Luczo Dragon Racing, qualified fourth): "I'm really happy. These guys have done a great job. We've worked really hard on the setup for a very clean, team car. It has paid off sitting out of the car for a couple of races to now when I'm in a good situation. I'm looking forward to the race and looking forward to Indy as well." (About his first start of the season): "It will be good to get back into a race. I tried to get racy with a few people today. It seems like it was just yesterday for me. The main thing for tomorrow's race is to stay out of trouble and be good in traffic. There are more cars than what I'm used to running around with, so my goal is to stay out of trouble and race the last 15, 20 laps. If we can come away with a top-five finish and a car that is in one piece, we'll be extremely happy."
A.J. FOYT IV (No. 2 Vision Racing, qualified fifth): "I'm really happy. Our car has been really good, and both Vision cars are going to be up front for the start of the race, so we've got to be happy with that. We've definitely got the cars and the team to get a win; we just have to have everything come together for us to be able to do it. Our cars are very strong so I am looking forward to the race tomorrow."
SUNDAY'S SCHEDULE (all times local):
3 p.m. Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 pre-race
4 p.m. Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 (200 laps/300 miles)
The 2008 IndyCar Series season continues with the Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 on April 27 at Kansas Speedway. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 5 p.m. (EDT) by ESPN2. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network. A Spanish-language telecast of the race will be carried by ESPNDeportes. The IMS Radio Network broadcast also is carried on XM Satellite Radio and www.indycar.com. The 2008 Firestone Indy Lights season continues April 27 at Kansas. The race will be telecast at 2 p.m. (EDT) on May 1 by ESPN2.