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Ganassi determined to make a race of it

His humour was not improved on the Sunday when all the teams got to use unused qualifying time as an opportunity for further practice in race trim - and Ganassi watched as Charlie Kimball ended up in the wall.

"It's really disappointing to go out today and crash the car," said Kimball. "Fortunately, the chassis is okay, and the guys have plenty of time and are well into fixing it already."

Now the challenge for Ganassi and his drivers is to regroup from the qualifying disappointment and see what they can achieve in the race itself. The practice sessions all last week suggested that in race trim and with the normal turbo boost settings (rather than the extra 50 horsepower all teams got for qualifying) the Ganassi cars may yet be on reasonably competitive footing with the Chevrolet cars ahead on the grid.

"I think in race trim we're okay," insisted Ganassi. "We're just a little challenged in qualifying."

"The car has been good all month, especially in race trim, agreed Kimball. "We still have a really good race car ... We'll go out and have a really good race next weekend."

As for Franchitti, there was no doubting just how much he wanted to overcome the disappointment of Pole Day and come out and win this year's Indy 500. If he were to succeed on Sunday then he'd join an elite club of only nine drivers to date to have won a hat-trick, of which only one - Helio Castroneves - is still active.

"Two is lovely; three would be just incredible," he said. "You have to want this one as much as you wanted the first one or else you're not going to get it. That's the plain and simple of it."

It would mean a lot to Franchitti to win this year's Indy 500 in particular and have the chance to pay homage to last year's champion, his great friend Dan Wheldon who tragically died in the accident at Las Vegas Motor Speedway at the season climax on October. And another of Franchitti's and Wheldon's closest friends, Tony Kanaan, wouldn't be surprised if he managed it despite the lowly midfield starting position for the race.

"It doesn't matter what position the guy is in or how many points he has, he's always a threat to win," said Kanaan "He's one of the guys you have to beat here."




Related Pictures

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Charlie Kimball (USA - Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing) rests during the Rookie Orientation Program at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Thursday, May 12 [Photo by Ron McQueeney for IndyCar Media]
Graham Rahal in pit road at Kentucky Speedway [Photo credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Scott Dixon during practice for the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500. 12-27 May, 2012, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. (c) 2012, Michael L. Levitt. LAT Photo USA (Photo credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Scott Dixon during practice for the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500. 12-27 May, 2012, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. (c) 2012, Michael L. Levitt. LAT Photo USA (Photo credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Team owners Chip Ganassi (middle) and Roger Penske (right) talk at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with the managing director of Target Chip Ganassi Racing, Mike Hull (left.) [Picture credit: IndyCar Media]
Dario Franchitti in the pits between runs at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. August 2011. [Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
A special message for James Hinchcliffe during the Indianapolis 500 Victory Banquet at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates with team owner Roger Penske after winning the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Accident for Sage Karam on the first lap of the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Mike Young for IndyCar Media)
Oriol Servia accident during the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Mike Young for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson at the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Eric Anderson for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates after the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates after the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates after the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Eric Anderson for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, and his team perform the traditional kissing of the bricks after racing to victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, drinks the traditional bottle of milk while celebrating his victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates his victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, crosses the finish line as he races to victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Will Power (left), driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, finishes second. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Andy Frame/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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JOHN - Unregistered

May 23, 2012 10:14 PM

No disrespect to the big top teams, but I hope its a race like last year where they all failed and the outsiders took all the top spots. Sadly and very sadly one of those outsiders (Dan Wheldon) who won the race will not be around this time.



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