Fort Worth, TX – We all knew that Chip Ganassi Racing would be strong this weekend at the Texas Motor Speedway. Last year, Honda drivers led 488 of the overall 648 superspeedway laps, including all but 11 laps in this very race. They did that without Chip Ganassi Racing. Imagine that stat now with Ganassi on their side.
At Indy, they led 181 of the 200 laps two weeks ago. Ganassi driver Max Chilton led a race high 50 laps that day. Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan had two of the better cars all month long too.
Well, that’s why today’s dominance out of this group isn’t surprising in the least.
In the first practice session, Dixon was fastest while Charlie Kimball was second overall. Kanaan and Chilton were ninth and 14th respectively. Then in qualifying on the 1.5-mile track, they were even better. This time, Kimball led the way, earning his first career Verizon IndyCar Series pole, while Dixon will line up alongside of him in second.
Kanaan and Chilton will roll off fourth and sixth respectively, giving Ganassi all four cars in the top six of the starting lineup, and the first three cars on the outside rows.
Mix that with Dixon and Kanaan excelling here over the course of their careers, and you can see why tomorrow night may very well be a Ganassi show.
In 2015, Dixon and Kanaan finished 1-2. Also, dating back to 2008, Dixon has seven top fives in 10 Texas starts. He also has seven top three finishes in his career there, all since 2003. Combine that with seven top six finishes in eight races this season, and it’s clear why he’s the favorite under the lights on Saturday.
But, don’t sleep on Kanaan. He has three podium finishes in his last four Texas starts.
So, with their speed on Friday, unless something drastically changes, which I don’t think it will, as long as they stay out of trouble and their engines hold up, the winner on Saturday night likely will be from the Ganassi camp.