Franchitti To Run #50 Target Car At Indianapolis 500
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 11, 2012) – Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR) announced today that the traditional No. 10 Target Honda of four-time and defending INDYCAR Champion and two-time Indianapolis 500 Winner Dario Franchitti will change to the No. 50 for the 96th Running of the Indianapolis 500 in honor of Target’s 50th Anniversary in 2012.  Target and Team Owner Chip Ganassi have partnered together for nearly half of those 50 years.  TCGR was established in 1990, making the 2012 season the 23rd year of partnership between the two organizations. 
Franchitti’s car will feature a very unique look as the distinctive Target Bullseye will serve as the zero in the car number, which debuts Opening Weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) Saturday, May 12, and at the Indianapolis 500 Sunday, May 27 (12:00 PM ET, ABC Sports).  Both he and Target teammate Scott Dixon (2008 Indianapolis 500 Winner) will also have the traditional Bullseye on the chest of their fire suits changed to the 50th Anniversary logo for the entire month.
“Partnering with the Ganassi team has been a true highlight of Target’s first 50 years in business,” said Gregg Steinhafel, Chairman, President and CEO, Target. “We are excited that our guests and team will see our 50th anniversary commemorated with the new No. 50 on Dario’s car during the Indianapolis 500. What an outstanding tribute from a tremendous partner.”
“It’s really incredible to think Target has been with us for nearly half of their 50 years of existence,” said Chip Ganassi, Owner, Target Chip Ganassi Racing. “It’s a tremendous source of pride for not only myself, but our entire race team. They have been, and continue to be true ‘partners’ in every sense of the word.  Running the No.50 car at Indianapolis is a fitting way to pay tribute to their longstanding success and achievements in the business world over the past half century.”
“Over the past four seasons with the team, I’ve come to find not only what an incredible sponsor Target has been in their 23 years with this race program, but what a truly amazing corporation they are,” said Dario Franchitti, Driver, No. 50 Target Honda.  “They are a retailer with such an amazing culture. I look forward to representing them at Indianapolis again this May, especially in such a landmark year.”
Looking good at 50:  2012 marks Target’s 50th Anniversary, opening its first store in Roseville, Minn. in May 1962.  Target was born out of department store roots from the Dayton Company and has become a leader of design and innovation. Now in 1,764 communities across the United States, Target has a strong legacy of giving back through support and volunteerism. This year, Target celebrates its legacy with a nod to the past and a look ahead to the exciting things to come.
Making History Together:  Minneapolis-based Target also celebrates its 23rd year in motorsports with Chip Ganassi Racing in 2012.  Since its formation, TCGR has amassed 86 victories and nine titles (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), including three Indianapolis 500 victories (2000, 2008, 2010).  The 2012 season includes two full-time entries in the IZOD IndyCar Series with Scott Dixon and Franchitti and a full-time entry in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) for 1999 IndyCar Series Champion and 2000 Indianapolis 500 Winner Juan Pablo Montoya, as Team Target continues to feature some of the world’s most accomplished race car drivers.  The Target Racing Program enters 2012 with 95 wins across four series (INDYCAR: 86; GRAND-AM: 4; ARCA: 4; NSCS: 1).
Three-Time Winners:  Dating back to the first Indianapolis 500 in 1911, there have been six three-time winners of the event.  As Franchitti looks to become the seventh to accomplish the feat on Memorial Day, it’s interesting to note that of all six three-time winners (Louis Meyer – 1928, 1933, 1936; Wilbur Shaw – 1937, 1939, 1940; Mauri Rose – 1941, 1947, 1948; Johnny Rutherford – 1974, 1976, 1980; Bobby Unser – 1968, 1975, 1981 and Helio Castroneves – 2001, 2002, 2009) none had the same car number in all three races.  Franchitti will look to add a third 500 win to his racing resume in the No. 50 car after wins in cars No. 27 (2007) and No.10 (2010).
Ganassi’s IMS Glory:  Ganassi’s history at IMS over the years includes four wins as a team owner in the Indianapolis 500 (1989, 2000, 2008, 2010) in addition to winning the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400.  He was also named Rookie of the Year as a driver in the 1983 Indianapolis 500.

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