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04.01.14

Team Target Finishes Strong on the Streets of St. Petersburg

IndyCar - St. Petersburg, FL

Results (with starting pos.) from the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
1. (4) No. 12 Power, Chevrolet
2. (3) No. 28 Hunter-Reay, Honda
3. (10) No 3. Castroneves, Chevrolet
4. (5) Scott Dixon, No. 9 Target Chevrolet
6. (2) Tony Kanaan, No. 10 Target Chevrolet

Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR) drivers Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan finished fourth and sixth, respectively, in the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg for the Verizon IndyCar Series.

TCGR gathered data and tuned on their setups during practice sessions, which led to both cars qualifying through to the Firestone Fast 6 shootout and starting the 110-lap race in the top-five.  Kanaan qualified the No. 10 Target Chevrolet on the front row in second (01:02.163) while Dixon qualified the No. 9 Target Chevrolet fifth (01:02.445).  Both cars started the race on alternate compound tires but switched to primary compounds for the remainder of the race.

Dixon held his ground in the opening race of the 2014 season and managed, outside of pit-stop rotations, to stay in the top 10 for the entire race.  After dropping back to sixth place early in the race due to a mechanical issue, he held strong, only losing one more position as pit stops cycled through.  On lap 54, Dixon cycled forward into a race-high second place.  The race continued under green until a caution came out on lap 76 – the longest stretch the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg has ever gone without a caution.  Confusion about the restart zone bunched the field up when the track returned to green on lap 83, causing the field to immediately return to yellow after two cars crashed trying to avoid the pileup.  Dixon was in fourth place when the race returned to green on lap 88 and held the position through to the end.

Kanaan dropped from second to third when the green flag flew and developed a fuel flow issue which would plague the No. 10 for the rest of the race.  With just over 10 laps completed, he began reporting a bad vibration from the rear of the car as the tires degraded.  Despite the setbacks, Kanaan was strong through the race, also never dropping outside of the top 10.  Kanaan led teammate Dixon through his second pit stop from sixth position just before the halfway mark of the race.  Restarting after the lap 76 yellow in fifth, Kanaan lost a spot right as the race returned to green.  He held off pole-winner Takuma Sato for the rest of the race, finishing in sixth.

With the results, Dixon is fourth in the Verizon IndyCar Series point standings with 32 points, while Kanaan stands sixth with 28 points.

Notes of Interest:
- The race marked the first together for teammates Dixon and Kanaan.
- Dixon had a small issue where the power cutoff twice during the race and he lost position on track as a result.

TCGR Quoteboard:

Scott Dixon, No. 9 Team Target Chevrolet:
“Overall we had a good race.  Historically we haven’t had the best start to the season here at St. Pete.  But the crowd was great and I’m really impressed with the turnout here.  It’s such a great event here.  We had a lot of fun and the Target team bringing two cars home without any damage to start off our year is a small win.  We’re looking forward to improving and heading to Long Beach in a few weeks.”

Tony Kanaan, No. 10 Team Target Chevrolet:
“I need to thank the Target team really.  Everyone was so close out there it was all about track position.  Then we got caught on our out lap and lost a position on track as well.  The No. 28 almost put us in the wall after that and overall I think we lost maybe half a second and that equates to two positions out there. I think we had a car to finish in the top five and we finished sixth.  Not the start we wanted, but we’ll take it.”

Up next for Target Chip Ganassi Racing is the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on the streets of Long Beach on Sunday, April 13 (4:40 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network).

About Chip Ganassi Racing Teams
Chip Ganassi has been a fixture in the auto racing industry for over 25 years and is considered one of the most successful as well as innovative owners the sport has anywhere in the world.  Today his teams include four cars in the Verizon IndyCar Series, two cars in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and one Prototype in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.  Overall his teams have 17 championships and over 150 victories, including four Indianapolis 500s, a Daytona 500, a Brickyard 400, five Rolex 24 At Daytonas and the 12 Hours of Sebring.  Ganassi boasts state-of-the-art race shop facilities in Indianapolis and Brownsburg, Ind. and Concord, N.C., with a corporate office in Pittsburgh, Penn. For more information log onto: www.chipganassiracing.com
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