100th Indianapolis 500 team preview: Chip Ganassi Racing

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MotorSportsTalk looks through the Verizon IndyCar Series grid ahead of the 100th Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. Here’s Chip Ganassi Racing Teams.

Last year, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams ended Team Penske’s pole run going into the Indianapolis 500 but came up just shy of the win with first Scott Dixon, then Charlie Kimball. After winning three of five ‘500s from 2008 to 2012, Ganassi looks to end a three-year drought this year. Ganassi has four Indianapolis 500 victories (2000, 2008, 2010, 2012). 

ENTRIES

Max Chilton-R, No. 8 Gallagher Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
Scott Dixon-W, No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
Tony Kanaan-W, No. 10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
Charlie Kimball, No. 42 Tresiba Chevrolet

2016 SEASON SO FAR

Scott Dixon’s traditional slow start hasn’t occurred; instead, the four-time and defending series champion is unlucky to have only won once, at Phoenix. A controversial runner-up result at Long Beach was frustrating, as was getting tapped by Le Mans teammate Sebastien Bourdais in Barber. Elsewhere Tony Kanaan, Max Chilton and Charlie Kimball have had similar strong moments but not yet matched Dixon in terms of contending for wins, outside of Kanaan at Phoenix. 

INDY OUTLOOK

In a statistical oddity, Dixon hasn’t ended best of the Ganassi bunch at Indy since 2009, when he finished sixth. Yet he was back in win contention after a couple years in the wilderness last year. Kanaan is the guy who needs a bounce back at Indy – he’s been quick but he’s been in accidents the last two years since his 2013 win.

Kimball remains underrated at Indy with three top-10s his last four years here, and Chilton is a strong contender for race rookie-of-the-year, particularly if his confidence and cleanliness carries over from his first IndyCar oval race at Phoenix. 

RECENT RESULTS 

  • 2015: 3. 83-Kimball (14), 4. 9-Dixon (1), 23. 17-Saavedra (27), 26. 10-Kanaan (4), 32. 8-Karam (21)
  • 2014: 18. 8-Briscoe (30), 26. 10-Kanaan (16), 29. 9-Dixon (11), 31. 83-Kimball (26)
  • 2013: 9. 83-Kimball (19), 12. 8-Briscoe (23), 14. 9-Dixon (16), 23. 10-Franchitti (17)
  • 2012: 1. 50-Franchitti (16), 2. 9-Dixon (15), 8. 83-Kimball (14) 13. 38-Rahal (12)