The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will feature the first standing start of the 2014 season.
A Day At The Beach: Since Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s (TCGR) first entry in the Long Beach Grand Prix 25 years ago, the team has amassed five wins, eight podiums, 11 top-five and 18 top-10 finishes.
Take A Walk On The Wild Side: Former TCGR driver Dario Franchitti will be inducted into the Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame on Thursday, April 10th alongside fellow inductees Gerald Forsythe and Kevin Kalkhoven. The ninth annual induction ceremony will be held on South Pine Avenue in front of the Convention Center, which lies along the route of the 2014 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The Walk of Fame inductees will receive medallions which include renditions of the racers' cars and their major achievements in motorsports.
3…2…1…Go!: The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will feature the first standing start of the 2014 season. An Indy car standing start was last held on the temporary street circuit for the 2008 Champ Car race in Long Beach. There is roughly a half-mile from where the front row will be staged behind the start-finish line to the left-hand Turn 1. The next confirmed standing start for the season will take place at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 10th.
Title Talk: Should reigning Verizon IndyCar Series Champion Scott Dixon take home the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series title, he would become the fifth driver to win four Indy car titles (AJ Foyt, Mario Andretti, Sebastien Bourdais, Dario Franchitti). Dixon won the title in 2003, 2008 and again in 2013.
Dario Returns: Four-time Verizon IndyCar Series Champion and three-time Indianapolis 500 Winner Dario Franchitti returns to Team Target in 2014 as a driving advisor for Chip Ganassi Racing Teams. Franchitti will aid the team as it adapts to recent lineup changes and additions, and was on site with the team at the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the Barber Motorsports Park Open Test earlier this month. He will continue to work closely with the teams’ Verizon IndyCar Series drivers throughout the duration of the season.
100+ Wins and Counting…: The Target Racing Program, which began with Target and Chip Ganassi Racing in 1990, will be contending for their 104th win as the season progresses. The first win for the program came in 1994 with Michael’s Andretti’s Indy car victory at Surfers Paradise, Australia, when the team was a two-car, Indy car program. 102 wins later, the program’s umbrella not only includes involvement in the Verizon IndyCar Series, but in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. The partnership between Target and Chip Ganassi Racing is one of the longest consecutive team partnerships in motor racing history.
Topping the Charts: Dixon and Kanaan rank first and fifth, respectively, in the number of victories among active full-time drivers in the Verizon IndyCar Series. Dixon is ranked seventh on the all-time wins list with 33 victories. Reigning Indianapolis 500 Winner Kanaan has 16 victories.
Finding New Roads: All four Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) Indy cars are utilizing the Chevrolet 2.2-liter twin turbocharged V6 engine for 2014 season. The engine produces well over 600 horsepower and close to 300 lb. ft. of torque.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR LONG BEACH
Scott Dixon and No. 9 Target Team
Dixon’s Beach Excursions: Scott Dixon has seven career starts on the streets of Long Beach (2001 – 2002, 2009 – 2013) with a career-best finish of fourth in 2010. Over half of his starts have ended with a spot in the top-10 (2009-2012).
The Ice Man Returns: The three-time Verizon IndyCar Series Champion (2003, 2008, 2013) and 2008 Indianapolis 500 Winner returns in 2014 for his first season alongside 2004 Series Champion and 2013 Indianapolis 500 Winner Kanaan. Dixon, the active wins leader, is in seventh place on the all-time list (1909-Present) with 33 victories, ranking only behind A.J. Foyt, the Andretti’s (Mario and Michael) and Unser’s (Al, Bobby and Al Jr.). His next pole (21st) will see him tied for 13th on the all-time list with Gil De Ferran.
The Best Defense Is A Good Offense: Dixon will spend the 2014 season attempting his first successful defense of a Verizon IndyCar Series title. "I think it's obviously a good problem to have," Dixon said. "I've been in this situation a couple of times before… I think we need to focus on making a good start in the first three or four races." His closest effort so far came in 2009 when he finished second to teammate Dario Franchitti by a mere 11 points. If Dixon is successful, he will become the 14th driver to have at least two consecutive series championships.
Go with What you Know: 2014 marks Dixon’s 13th year with Team Target – the longest tenure for a driver in team history (1990-Present).
Moving Forward: With his next victory, Dixon would tie Al Unser Jr. for sixth on the all-time wins list. Dixon won his 33rd race at Houston's Reliant Park in October 2013. A victory in 2014 will extend Dixon’s streak of consecutive seasons with a win to 10; while qualifying in the top spot would mark eight consecutive seasons with a pole.
Tony Kanaan and No. 10 Target Team
TK Joins The Team: 2004 Verizon IndyCar Series Champion and 2013 Indianapolis 500 Winner Kanaan joins TCGR in 2014 for his first season alongside three-time Champion and 2008 Indianapolis 500 Winner Dixon. Kanaan has 16 career wins and 15 poles entering the 2014 season, and will seek to add to his record for consecutive Indy car starts, which is at 216. Only three other active drivers (Dixon, Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay) possess a streak of more than 100 consecutive starts. Competing in every race will push his career starts total to 295 – which would be good enough for ninth on the all-time list. Kanaan has 112 career top-five finishes and is tied for the title of active leader with Helio Castroneves.
Sun, Surf and TK : Tony Kanaan has 10 career starts on the streets of Long Beach (1998 – 2002, 2009 – 2013) with a career-best finish of third in 2009. He has finished in the top-10 six times (1998, 2001, 2009 – 2012) and the top-five four times (1998, 2009 – 2010, 2012).
No Time To Waste: Kanaan started second on the Streets of St. Petersburg, the first race 2014 season of the Verizon IndyCar Series. The front-row start matched the best-ever start in a debut for a driver in Team Target’s 25-year history. Indy car legend Michael Andretti started second and won for TCGR in his first race in Australia (street course) in March of 1994.
Peculiar Pairing: The pairing of Dixon and Kanaan marks the first time the reigning Indianapolis 500 Winner and the reigning Verizon IndyCar Series Champion will be teammates since 2002, when Team Penske had 2001 Indianapolis 500 Winner Helio Castroneves and 2001 CART Champion Gil de Ferran. The pairing of the two titleholders has only happened five times in Indy car history (1972 – Al Unser, 1971 Indianapolis 500 Winner and Joe Leonard, 1971 USAC Champion for Vel’s Parnelli Racing; 1986 – Danny Sullivan, 1985 Indianapolis 500 Winner and Al Unser, 1985 CART Champion for Team Penske; and in 1989 – Rick Mears, 1988 Indianapolis 500 Winner and Danny Sullivan, 1988 CART Champion for Team Penske.
Chip Ganassi Racing