File this one under the “we can’t believe there really has to be a release on it” category, but there was a release anyway.
On Monday afternoon, Chip Ganassi Racing confirmed Target and Scott Dixon will return for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season, the pairing’s 14th consecutive year together dating to 2002.
Dixon, a three-time series champion, rallied to third in this year’s points standings after a tough start to the season.
“Although we finished 2014 strong, we didn’t have the year we wanted to, at least not by our standards,” he admitted in a team release. “I know the Target team is focused and ready to go for 2015, and I’m honored to be back driving the No. 9 again for the team.
“It’s really hard to believe this is my 14th year with Target Chip Ganassi Racing – it seems like only yesterday I was making my first start for them way back in 2002! The relationship the team has with Target is a true partnership in every sense of the word, and that’s why I am so proud to wear the Target firesuit.”
Beyond the traditional Target colors adorning Dixon’s No. 9 Dallara-Chevrolet, today’s release also indicated an increase in promotional efforts, which is perhaps the bigger news.
“In addition to sponsoring cars in both INDYCAR and NASCAR, we will be increasing our digital and broadcast support of the motorsports program,” Dan Griffis, Vice President, Experiential Marketing & Alliances, Target, said in a release.
“The new marketing initiatives will allow Target to remain one of the most recognizable brands in each series, both on and off the track. We look forward to sharing more details about these exciting plans with our loyal fans in the coming weeks.”
Tony Kanaan’s No. 10 program was not identified within the Target release, which is either an inadvertent oversight or an unintentional tease that a new primary commercial partner could be coming to that car.
In recent years, the No. 10 Target car has witnessed a rotating door of sponsors (and paint schemes) taking up residence in one or two-race deals, for companies that have their products at Target.
Ganassi will have further team announcements for its remaining IndyCar and TUDOR United SportsCar Championship programs on Wednesday, Friday, next Tuesday, December 16 and Thursday, December 18.