IndyCar Drivers Look to Navigate the Twist and Turns of Sonoma
August 21, 2014
Race: GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway, August 24
Drivers: @scottdixon9 @TonyKanaan @Ryan_Briscoe @charliekimball
Cars: No. 9 Target, No. 10 Target, No. 8 NTT DATA, No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Chevrolets
Track: Sonoma Raceway (12-turn, 2.385-mile road course)
TV: NBC Sports Network, 4:00 PM ET
Social: @CGRTeams #TeamTarget #RaceWithInsulin #NTTDATARacing
BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW THAT
Sonoma Success: Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR) has two wins at Sonoma Raceway (Dixon, 2007; Franchitti, 2009).
TCGR Drivers at Sonoma: In Dixon and Kanaan’s combined 18 career starts at Sonoma, they have a total of two wins (Kanaan, 2005; Dixon, 2007), four podiums, seven top-fives and 11 top-10s. Dixon and Kanaan have completed 1391 of 1430 (97.3%) laps of competition and have led a combined 124 laps. Dixon and Kanaan are also two of only three drivers to have competed in every Verizon IndyCar Series event at Sonoma Raceway.
New Look for the No. 8: The No. 8 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet will have a special livery promoting NTT DATA’s parent company, the NTT Group, at the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma. NTT Group delivers advanced technology and innovative solutions in networking, communications, software and cloud computing that help transform businesses, governments and societies around the world. NTT Group has become the one-stop innovation partner for 80% of the fortune 100 by fusing practical industry insight, technical know-how, and telecom expertise with robust global networks, datacenters, and servers. As one of the largest technology companies in the world, NTT Group generates over $112 billion in annual revenues, has over 240 data centers, and employs more than 240,000 skilled professionals in nearly 80 countries.
Hosting the Human Highlight Film: NBA hall-of-famer and 11th all-time leading scorer in NBA history, Dominique Wilkins joined Novo Nordisk and CGRT driver Charlie Kimball at the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 in Milwaukee. Wilkins was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at the age of 40 – not long after he retired from the NBA – and has since become active in the diabetes community. Along with Kimball, Wilkins serves as a celebrity spokesperson for Novo Nordisk and is able to share his story with the world of overcoming diabetes. Wilkins spent the weekend observing Kimball at the track and enjoying a pace car ride around the Milwaukee Mile.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR SONOMA
Scott Dixon and No. 9 Target Team
Sonoma Consistency: Dixon is the only driver to have completed every lap of competition at Sonoma (715/715) and has led 84 laps at the track. He has also finished inside the top-10 in five out of his nine starts at Sonoma, including a victory in 2007.
On a Roll: Dixon has claimed six straight top-10’s this season and has finished inside the top-5 in five of the last six races, including a victory at Mid-Ohio earlier this month.
Moving On Up: With his victory at Mid-Ohio, Dixon tied Al Unser Jr. for sixth on the all-time wins list with 34. He also extended his streak of consecutive seasons with a win to 10, while his pole at Iowa earlier this year marked his eighth consecutive season with a pole. He has led at least one race for 12 consecutive seasons. Dixon has 172 consecutive starts, placing him in fourth on the all-time list and second among active drivers behind teammate Kanaan.
Tony Kanaan and No. 10 Target Team
Strong at Sonoma: Kanaan has finished in the top-10 in six out of his nine starts at Sonoma Raceway, including a victory in 2005.
Road Course Reliability: In his 48 career road course starts, Kanaan has one win, six podiums, 13 top-five’s, and 29 top-10’s. He has completed 3413 out of 3704 (92%) laps of competition and has led 104 total laps.
Hot Streak: Kanaan has finished in the top-five in four of the last five Verizon IndyCar Series races.
Ryan Briscoe and No. 8 NTT DATA Chevrolet
Blast from the Past: Briscoe has been on the podium at Sonoma Raceway four out of the eight times he has raced at the road course. His first pole in the Verizon IndyCar Series came at Sonoma in 2005 and his last win in the Verizon IndyCar Series came at Sonoma in 2012.
Briscoe, on Sonoma: “I love racing at Sonoma Raceway and I can’t wait to get out there on the track this weekend. We had a really good test there a few weeks ago and as a team we were able to pull some really good data. We are coming off a solid race in Milwaukee with a sixth place finish, and while it’s not a win, it’s definitely a finish that we can build on going into the end of the season. Everyone at NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing is ready for a win, and I think Sonoma is the place we can do it.”
Charlie Kimball and No. 83 Novo Nordisk Team
Moving On Up: Kimball has finished higher than his starting position in all but one of the 11 street or road courses of the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series season. The No. 83’s most notable climb came during the second leg of the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit doubleheader where he moved from his starting position of 20th up to third and his first podium of the season.
Kimball, on Sonoma: "It's hard to believe we only have two more races this season, but it's two more opportunities to score a win this year and I think the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team is ready for it. Heading into Sonoma, we have recent testing data to use to prep for another good qualifying stint and 85 laps on Sunday. It's a challenging track--one where you don't always know what to expect with the elevation changes and turns--but a ton of fun. The No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Chevrolet will be strong as soon as we unload at Sonoma Raceway, and the crew is always quick in pit lane. I'm looking forward to being back on the West Coast this weekend."