Dixon Wins Tag Heuer Pit Stop Challenge
For the second time in three years, Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Scott Dixon have won the Tag Heuer Pit Stop Challenge, which determines the fastest pit crew in the Indianapolis 500.
Today’s contest at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway featured 12 teams in four rounds of action. Each team was timed while performing a pit stop that required crews to change four tires and execute a simulated fuel hookup during each round of competition. Teams went head-to-head with the faster time advancing to the next round. Crews had to be careful however, as penalty time was added for various infractions, such as loose wheel nuts or running over air hoses.
Dixon and the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi crew took first place and earned a $50,000 payday after defeating Indianapolis 500 rookie Sage Karam and his Dryer & Reinbold-Kingdom Racing crew by over half a second (Dixon’s crew recorded a time of 11.658 seconds; Karam’s registered a time of 12.163 seconds).
The No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing crew includes: Chief Mechanic and outside front tire, Blair Julian; inside front tire, Adam Rovazzini; outside rear tire, Greg Shuker; inside rear tire, Tyler Rees; airjack, Andy Schneider; and fueler, Todd DeNeve.
“Every week it’s pretty tight (between teams in the pits),” said Julian. “We’ve been fortunate enough to do a good job here on pit lane – today and in the races. It’s working out pretty good. There is not a huge amount of (pit stop) practice throughout the season; it’s mainly on race weekends. We try and get a few pit stops in during the practice sessions, unless we have a big problem, and everything has been going pretty good this year.”
“It’s actually one of my most stressful days apart from Race Day because you don’t want to mess it up,” Dixon said. “I’ve been very lucky and blessed to have such a great team for many years and to win the pit stop competition two times within three years is pretty tough to do. Without them, I wouldn’t have had the success I have had. They are one of the best teams on pit road. It’s definitely going to help me a lot come Race Day this weekend.”
Today also marked the second time Dixon and the No. 9 crew have ever won the Tag Heuer Pit Stop Competition, as they earned the top spot in 2012 after defeating Oriol Servia and Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing.
The 98th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race is scheduled for noon ET on Sunday, May 25.
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