Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, Part II
The cast: Drivers – Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan. Chief engineers – Chris Simmons (Dixon), Todd Malloy (Kanaan)
Twitter: @scottdixon9, @TonyKanaan, @CGRindycar
The cars: Nos. 9 (Dixon) and 10 (Kanaan) Chevrolet
Snapshot: Kanaan, 40, resides with his wife, Lauren, in Miami. The couple welcomed their first child in January. … Kanaan enters his second season with Chip Ganassi Racing Teams. … He is the Indy car record-holder with 233 consecutive starts (began at Portland in 2001) and ranks in the top 10 all time in top-five finishes (117). … He won the 2004 series championship and the 2013 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. … Dixon, 34, resides in Indianapolis with his wife, Emma, and their two daughters. A three-time series champion and the 2008 Indianapolis 500 winner, he is tied with Bobby Unser for fifth on the all-time Indy car list with 35 wins. … In the season finale at Auto Club Speedway, he moved past Al Unser for fifth on the all-time second-place finishes list with 32. He’s also in the top 10 in career top-five finishes. … Dixon has made 175 consecutive starts.
The stats: Kanaan placed seventh in 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship standings – 19 points out of sixth – which was four positions higher than 2013. … He opened the season with a front-row start at St. Petersburg and claimed four other top-five qualifying runs (13 in the top 10 overall in the 18 races; all in top 10 in second half of season). … He closed the season with five podium finishes in the final seven races, including his 17th career victory in the finale at Auto Club Speedway. … Dixon closed the 2014 season with two victories and five other top-five finishes in the final eight races. He moved from ninth in the standings to third in that stretch. … He extended his streak of seasons with a victory to 10 and has at least one earned pole in eight consecutive seasons. … He topped the field with 11 top-five finishes and led eight races for total of 97 laps to surpass 4,300 in his Indy car career.
The gist: Kanaan, who in his championship season completed every race lap, has been running at the finish in 230 of his 294 starts. … In the 2014 finale, Kanaan passed Rick Mears (3,435) on the career list with 3,746 laps led. … Malloy spent three-plus years with Bryan Herta Autosport before joining Chip Ganassi Racing Teams in October. Last season, Kanaan was paired with Chris Simmons (who had been Dario Franchitti’s longtime engineer), and for the coming season he will work with Scott Dixon and the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing crew. … Dixon is the longest tenured driver for Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (2002 CART season). … Dixon and Kanaan co-drove to the overall victory in the Rolex 24 At Daytona in January.
They said it: “At Chip Ganassi Racing, it's an open book and we try to push the envelope to advance all the cars,” Dixon said. “Some days you have to understand maybe it's not your day. But when it comes down to the wire, you're going to fight your teammates as hard as anybody else. We're all very competitive. We're going to do whatever it takes to try to get there, but maybe give our teammates a little bit more room.”
Added Kanaan: “The way to look at it is if I can't win I'd rather have one of my teammates win because it's a whole organization. We call it one team. Obviously, I'm not going to say if I don't win I'm going to be satisfied. If there is a good way of losing, it's actually having your teammate win the race for the team.”