It Was A Ganassi Kind Of Day In Kansas

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Saturday, May 1 2010

Chip Ganassi joins drivers Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti in Victory Lane at Kansas. (Photo courtesy of the Indy Racing League)

Kansas City, Kan. – Just prior to the start of Saturday’s IndyCar Series event, Mike Hull brushed aside the suggestion that because his Target Chip Ganassi team was racing at a place where they had won the last three races, it had to be favored this year.

Hull was wearing dark glasses at the time so it was tough to see if he was winking or not.

If Hull, the Ganassi team technical director wasn’t winking, he should have been.

The Ganassi cars dominated the Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 at Kansas Speedway. Again.

Ganassi driver Scott Dixon led 167 of the 200 laps in the event to get the victory. His leads often were multiple-second jobs. His margin of victory was 3.05 seconds.

Dixon’s teammate, Dario Franchitti, led two of the other laps and finished second.

Dixon’s victory was his second straight at the 1.5-mile Kansas oval.

“The car was just really fast,” Dixon said. “Easy to drive, really consistent.”

Again, at Kansas.

“Success here for us has been fantastic,” Dixon said.

“It’s a track where I think in the past we’ve done quite a few Firestone tests here. We’ve always rolled off the truck fairly well, made minor changes and the cars got a little bit better. We just stayed very consistent.”

He said Saturday’s car was certainly strong off the truck. In the race, it was a little shaky early. Starting second, it took him 31 laps to get around polesitter Ryan Briscoe.

He made just one mistake in the early going and that happened right in front of Franchitti.

“He just got very, very loose,” Franchitti said. “He was trying to look outside of Ryan (Briscoe). Ryan was leading at that point. He (Dixon) tried to go to the outside. He hit that bump in (Turn) Three. I saw the thing snap sideways. He had to get out of the power. That allowed me to pass him.”


“Five laps later, he got back past,” Franchitti said.

Not long after that, Dixon got past Briscoe and the race was basically, over.

Franchitti had the closest view of Dixon as the race wore on. He was asked that if he somehow could have got past, could he have held the lead?

“He was pretty quick today,” Franchitti said. “Scott was very good. It was going to be tough to keep ahead of him. I think the first trick would have been getting past him. but to keep ahead of him would have been tough.”

It would have been tough to even reach Dixon late in the race. Because of a caution called at an odd time, a line of seven lapped cars stood between Franchitti and Dixon on the final restart, which came with six laps to go.

Some of those lapped cars refused to give breaks to the cars chasing Dixon for the lead.

That angered Frachitti and third-place finisher Tony Kanaan.

“It’s a matter of respect,” Kanaan said.

The good showing for the Ganassi team could not have come at a better time. The team which had produced the last two champions had gone 0 for 4 to start the 2010 season.

Dixon was fifth in points arriving at Kansas and Franchitti was sixth.

They left second and fifth respectively.

Also good for the Ganassi bunch is the fact that the next race on the schedule is the Indianapolis 500.

“I hope we can carry this momentum for another 30 days,” Franchitti said.

– Jim Pedley can be reached at jpedley@racintoday.com

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Saturday, May 1 2010
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