May 26, 2012 | By Bert Beiswanger
Target Chip Ganassi earns first IZOD Pit Stop Challenge win
INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, May 25, 2012 – Target Chip Ganassi Racing and driver Scott Dixon earned a long-awaited victory Friday, May 25 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, winning the IZOD Pit Stop Challenge for the first time in team history.
The Ganassi team and Dixon beat Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and Oriol Servia in the final, changing four tires, simulating refueling and entering and exiting the pit box in 13.769 seconds. Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold and Servia – also first-time finalists – trailed at 17.194.
Target Chip Ganassi Racing, which earned $50,000 for the victory, previously finished second three times in the IZOD Pit Stop Challenge.
“It's an amazing feeling," said Ricky Davis, longtime Target Chip Ganassi Racing crew chief. "I just told the guys on the way up here I've been trying my hardest to win this competition for over 20 years. Although I wasn't over the wall today, I work with these guys every day.
"They have to put up with me. They do some of the most ridiculous things I ask them to do. They've busted their butts. They've done everything I've asked them to do. I'm as proud as if I was going over the wall. These are the guys that get all of the credit for what they've done today."
After earning a bye in round one, Dixon won his quarterfinal match against Graham Rahal and Chip Ganassi/Service Central Racing, 13.941 to 17.166. In the semi-final, they edged Team Penske – which had won six consecutive Pit Stop Challenge events – and Will Power, 13.385 to 13.695.
“It's nice to have days like this and moments for the guys because they go on forgotten sometimes but work harder than all of us," said Dixon, who advanced to the IZOD Pit Stop Challenge for the first time. “They've worked extremely hard over the winter. There's been a few change-ups and things like that, but today was flawless. They didn't make a mistake. At some points, especially on the right lane, it just wasn't as quick. But they were able to make up the time.
"It's not about me, it's about them today. That's what it's really about. I'm so proud of them. I've been with a lot of these guys for many years. To actually win it, we've never done it, and I think it's a huge achievement; right at the top of a lot of things we get to do.”
The last time the IZOD Pit Stop Challenge winner also won the Indianapolis 500 in the same year was in 2009, when Team Penske and Helio Castroneves achieved the feat.
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