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Indy 500: Ganassi mulls qualifying disappointment

Despite Ganassi Racing having a hand in five cars in this year's Indianapolis 500, not a single one was fast enough to make it into the pole shootout.
Given that their main Verizon IndyCar Series rivals Andretti Autosport, Team Penske and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports all managed to get at least one driver into the Indianapolis 500 Fast 9 pole shootout on Sunday, along with cars from small operators Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing and Ed Carpenter Racing - the latter of which even won pole position - there was a conspicuous lack of any Chip Ganassi Racing representation in the final round of qualifying for the second year in a row.

The best of the Ganassi field was Scott Dixon who managed to put the #9 car into 11th place on the grid. Last year's Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan was the rest of the rest of Ganassi's five-car line-up but could only manage 16th place on the grid for next Sunday's race.

"It was a big improvement from where we were yesterday and I'm happy with our result today," said Dixon of his own final standing, hinting that he may have been able to be further forward if the qualifying format hadn't locked him out of the top nine at the end of Saturday's running.

"The car was really smooth to drive and I think we could have been faster if I hadn't had to deal with a bit of a crosswind on my run," he said. "Overall, a better day than yesterday.

"We still have another practice session tomorrow under the new format next week so we're going to keep working hard to keep the Target cars going in the right direction."

Kanaan was also upbeat about his prospects despite his midfield starting position on the grid.

"Like I always say, it's not where you start here at Indianapolis," he pointed out. " I started from 12th last year and was a contender and won here, so anything is possible.

"The whole Target Chip Ganassi Racing team did a great job today," he added. "They stayed late last night and put the time in to pick us up some more speed today. It was a total team effort today."

But team boss Chip Ganassi will not be happy to see his other three entries starting next week's race well down the starting grid, with Charlie Kimball in 26th place a row ahead of the underperforming Ryan Briscoe who could only manage 30th place, one spot ahead of rookie Sage Karam in Ganassi's co-entry with Dreyer and Reinbold–Kingdom Racing.

"We're a little disappointed in the speed we saw today with the #83," Kimball admitted. "I think we got some good data that we can use to our advantage for next year's qualifications."


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Related Pictures

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Scott Dixon gets a little heated on Monday at practice for the Indianapolis 500. (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
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Will Power celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
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