May 23, 2014
Scott Dixon hopes that winning the Tag Heuer Indy 500 Pit Stop Competition could be a good omen for the team.
Dixon, driving the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car, defeated rookie Sage Karam of Dreyer & Reinbold-Kingdom Racing with Chip Ganassi Racing 11.737 seconds to 12.084 seconds in the championship round. His pit crew received the $50,000 first place prize for its speed, precision and accuracy.
The winner of the competition has gone on to win the Indianapolis 500 six times, most recently with Helio Castroneves in 2009. It was the second win for both Dixon and Target Chip Ganassi Racing in the past three years.
Crew members for Dixon are chief mechanic and right-front tire, Blair Julian; Adam Rovazzini left-front tire; Greg Shuker right-rear tire; Tyler Rees, left-rear tire; Andy Schneider airjack,; Todd DeNeve fueler.
“It’s actually one of my most stressful days apart from Race Day because you don’t want to mess it up," said Dixon, the reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion and 2008 Indy 500 winner. "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. It’s a bit hard with strategy with lane choice and things like that but straight up, all but one race this year, this team has been the quickest on pit road. They’re amazing at what they do. Without them, I wouldn’t have the success that 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.”
Dreyer & Reinbold-Kingdom Racing with Chip Ganassi Racing earned $15,000 for its runner-up finish, which was exemplary given that Karam has yet to make a pit stop under Verizon IndyCar Series race conditions. The 2013 Indy Lights champion is making his series debut May 25 in the Indianapolis 500.
“To lose to Scott, he’s a pretty good guy. To get Chip to get two guys in the final is a great accomplishment," Karam said. "He was on the side with better grip. We got to the box at similar times, when I let go of the clutch it was just wheel spin, wheel spin.”