25 yEars of targEt chip gaNassi raciNg
Dario Franchitti earned TCGR its fourth
Indianapolis 500 victory, racing with the
No. 50 instead of his usual No. 10 to
celebrate Target’s 50th anniversary.
On the way to his third IndyCar Series title and TCGR’s 10th
open-wheel championship, Scott Dixon takes the 100th race win
for TCGR at Pocono, Pennsylvania – Chip Ganassi’s home state.
won his third
IndyCar Series –
the first TCGR
driver to achieve
such a feat.
This team is simply brilliant. During
practice for my first IndyCar race
with them, I remember thinking, “No
wonder they were so difficult to beat
all those years.” The way they went
racing, the people they had, the
attitude they had and the facilities
they had – mind blowing.
Chip has a will to succeed like you
wouldn’t believe. If he wins the race
on Sunday, on Monday it’s, “What
have we done to make sure we win the
next one, too?” And he’s surrounded
himself with people who share that
outlook. They’re never satisfied.
Another thing about Chip: he’s the
man to have in your corner when
times are tough. After my Houston
crash last year, when he said, “I’d
love you to continue being part of
the team,” that was exactly what
I needed to hear. That’s something
I’ll always appreciate.
On his return to the IndyCar Series,
Franchitti grabbed 13 wins with Ganassi,
including two at the Indianapolis 500.
Won three straight IndyCar Series
titles (2009 through ’ 11) and the
2010 and ’ 12 Indy 500s for TCGR.
THE DELIVERy DRIVER
(TOP) Dario Franchitti’s
third Indy win came on
the 50th anniversary
of Target, hence the
unique firesuit logo.
(LEFT) Last year, Scott
Dixon became IndyCar
Series champion for
the third time.
sets have been called on, and he’s excelled.
The last polishing his driving needed – just
to improve his consistency – was learned
in the five years spent with Dario Franchitti
as his teammate: the Scot won the IndyCar
title in Target colors for three straight years.
Last year, Dixon provided the team with its
fifth championship in six seasons. TCGR
seems to disprove the theory that it’s
harder to stay on stop than it is to get there.
“That’s true,” grins Dixon, “but I’m not
sure there’s a secret to it. I’d say one of the
key things is that people are happy here.
No one at Ganassi has a ‘don’t care’ attitude.
Management hires people with the right
attitude – self-motivated, not self-promoting.
Then these people realize they’re working
with others who share that work ethic and
outlook, and so the team spirit builds. No
one wastes energy getting upset with each
other or being political: that’s counter-
productive when all we want to do is win.”
And how about those apparently
visionary qualities that appear to provide
Chip Ganassi with 20-20 foresight that
matches other people’s hindsight? His first
champion, Vasser, has a theory about that.
“Because racing is Chip’s only business,
he doesn’t have the other distractions that
some of racing’s elite do,” he says, “and that
makes a difference in how he works. He’s got
the right guys and right tools in place and,
in Target, he’s got the most solid sponsor any
Indy car team has ever had. So everything’s
lined up in the short term; that means Chip
can focus on medium- and long-term plans
and, like I say, they’re entirely about racing.
“I suppose you’d say that’s something
he’s had going for him right from the start;
it’s been about racing all the way for Chip.
And it’s paid off for him, hasn’t it?”
The Dallara DW12 (BELOW) raced by all IndyCar Series teams is
named in honor of a former TCGR driver, the late Dan Wheldon.