Target Chip Ganassi Racing Indianapolis 500 Pole Day Report

MINNEAPOLIS - May 23, 2011
IZOD IndyCar Series Pole Day Qualifying for the Indianapolis 500.
 
P1 Alex Tagliani (No. 77 Honda) 227.472 mph
P2 Scott Dixon (No.9 Target Honda) 227.340 mph
P3 Oriol Servia (No. 2 Honda) 227.168 mph
P4 Townsend Bell (No. 99 Honda) 226.887 mph
P5 Will Power (No. 12 Honda) 226. 773 mph
P6 Dan Weldon (No. 98 Honda) 226. 490 mph
P7 Buddy Rice (No. 44 Honda) 225. 786 mph
P8 Ed Carpenter (No. 67 Honda) 225. 121 mph
P9 Dario Franchitti (No. 10 Target Honda) 226.379 mph
P10 Takumo Sato (No. 5 Honda) 225.736
P11 Vitor Meira (No. 14 Honda) 225.590
P12 JR Hildebrand (No. 4 Honda) 225.579 mph
P13 James Hinchcliffe (No.06 Honda) 225.572
P14 Bertand Baguette (No. 30 Honda) 225.285 mph
P15 Davey Hamilton (No. 11 Honda) 225.250 mph
P16 Helio Castroneves (No. 3 Honda) 225. 216 mph
P17 John Andretti (No. 43 Honda) 224.981 mph
P18 E.J. Viso (No. 59 Honda) 224.732 mph
P19 Bruno Junqueria (No. 41 Honda) 224.691 mph
P20 Justin Wilson (No. 22 Honda) 224.511 mph
P21 Jay Howard (No. 88 Honda) 224.483 mph
P22 Tomas Scheckter (No. 07 Honda) 224.433 mph
P23 Tony Kanaan (No. 82 Honda) 224.417 mph
P24 Simona de Silvestro (No. 76T Honda) 224.392 mph
 
Target Chip Ganassi Racing qualified the No. 9 and No. 10 cars for the Fast Nine shoot-out with their first attempts for the Indianapolis 500 today. The rain-delayed shoot-out restricted all nine cars to a single, four-lap qualifying run. Franchitti was on the fastest lap of the session until the No. 10 Target car ran out of fuel and was unable to complete the attempt, which qualified the team ninth.  Dixon also encountered a fuel-related problem but was able to post the second-fastest qualifying speed of the session with a 227.340 mph – good enough for the front row.
 
Mike Hull (Managing Director, Team Operations)
“First off, congratulations to Alex Tagliani and Sam Schmidt for partnering at Indianapolis and being on the pole position. Both of our Target cars performed very well– we qualified for the top-nine shootout and got on the front row. We’ve won from that position before and we’re going to work hard as a race team to do that again., As far as both final runs for Scott and Dario today, we ran short of fuel. As a team we’ll be ready to race on Sunday.”
 
Scott Dixon (No. 9 Target Honda)
"The car was a little off, a little loose. We made very few changes from this morning, and it wasn't what I expected. It got pretty sideways in Turn 3, and I had to lift on my first lap. The wind was behind us in Turn 3. I lost a good seven- or eight-tenths (second) on that first lap. It took a long time for the car to build its speed back up. It was tough conditions. I think Tag (Alex Tagliani) went at the right time. The car has great speed. We need to work a little bit on the balance. The Target team did a heck of a job setting the car up this week with the track time that we did get. We worked on qualifying (setup) on the last day (Friday). This place is tough, and it can bite you pretty quick. It's a fine line between teetering on the good and the bad when you go for pole speed. The pole is the ultimate deal. You have seen people here who you wouldn't think would be struggling. We're pretty happy, so far, but you're never happy until you win the race."
 
Dario Franchitti (No. 10 Target Honda)
"We were pretty close on setup with the Target car, but not good enough for the pole today. We were definitely good enough for third place. We obviously ran out of fuel at the end of the third lap and that was it. It’s disappointing for us, but I'm happy for Sam Schmidt, Allen McDonald, Alex Tagliani and their whole team."
 
Target Chip Ganassi Racing will compete in the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 29, 2011 (ABC, 12 pm ET).

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