Target to end its Ganassi IndyCar sponsorship

Target is withdrawing from IndyCar at season’s end, after 27 years on Chip Ganassi Racing’s Indy cars, although it will continue sponsoring the team’s NASCAR entries.

Target to end its Ganassi IndyCar sponsorship
Alex Zanardi, Chip Ganassi Racing Reynard Honda
2010 Indianapolis 500 Champion Dario Franchitti, Target Chip Ganassi Racing
Jimmy Vasser
Race winner Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet

The partnership has seen a Target-sponsored driver win the Indy car championship 11 times since Michael Andretti scored Ganassi and Target’s first two wins back in 1994.

Since then, Scott Dixon, whose #9 IndyCar currently carries the Target colors, has amassed four titles, Dario Franchitti took three, Alex Zanardi two, and Jimmy Vasser and Juan Pablo Montoya one apiece.

However, Target cut back from sponsoring the #9 and #10 cars in 2014 to just Dixon’s from 2015, as Tony Kanaan’s machine took on the NTT Data brand. But the Kiwi again delivered with a sensational last-gasp title win at Sonoma last year.

It is believed that Dixon’s future at Chip Ganassi Racing is unaffected – as he suggests below – and a team spokesperson says it is Chip’s intention to again run four full-time cars next year, as it has since the start of 2011.

Scott Dixon, who has scored 38 race wins for the Target Ganassi partnership, commented: "I can’t thank Target enough for their partnership on and off the track over the years.

"They have been with the IndyCar team for an amazing 27 years, which is unheard of in professional sports, and on the car I’ve driven for the past 15 seasons. I have nothing but great memories and much thanks for Target being great partners for so long.

"I’m looking forward to being in the #9 car for years to come and fighting for more wins and championships with Chip and the team.”

Chip Ganassi himself commented: "It's the greatest sponsor in racing, ever.  They've been nothing but good to me. They developed me personally and professionally. I've developed lifelong friends and relationships.  

"It is unfortunate they will be leaving the IndyCar Series but rest assured that the No. 9 Chevrolet and the reigning IndyCar Series Champion Scott Dixon will still be in the IndyCar Series next year and beyond, the car will just have different colors on it.  We are working through some of those options now.  

"Also, we are happy Target will remain in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with Kyle Larson and the No. 42.  I understand things change and people have different marketing efforts. It's one of the longest running sponsors in racing and they delivered for me and the team, and the team delivered for them."

 

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