Aug 31, 2014, 1:59 AM EST
FONTANA, Calif. – Since IndyCar returned for the de facto second half of its season at Houston in late June, Tony Kanaan and the Target Chip Ganassi Racing crew had been bursting at the seams to break through to win.
Kanaan nearly podiumed there before being taken out under yellow, led 325 laps between Pocono and Iowa, posted a double podium at Toronto, and another third at Milwaukee.
So the winning potential for the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet this year has been obvious, but until Saturday night at Auto Club Speedway, had not been realized.
Finally, then, was the word best used to describe Kanaan, who capped off the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series season with his first win since the 2013 Indianapolis 500.
“It’s a long time coming. For Target, with the 25-year anniversary. Finally,” Kanaan told NBCSN in victory lane.
“We had a team meeting this aftrernoon. If you win this afternoon you get to brag for seven months. At Chip Ganassi Racing, the winner gets your picture on the wall, and I finally get one now.”
For Kanaan, taking over the car previously driven by Dario Franchitti, it was important to secure at least one victory.
“It’s very emotional,” he said. “This 10 car has a lot of history so I didn’t want to go winless. I told Dario I dedicate it for him.”
Kanaan’s strong second half brought him up to seventh in the final points standings, and second in the Ganassi quartet.
Teammate Scott Dixon almost quietly ran to second in the race, and suddenly made it to third in the championship. He posted 11 top-five finishes this season.
With Dixon having won at Mid-Ohio and Sonoma, Ganassi went from no wins in the first 14 races of 2014 to three in the last four. Kanaan hailed the team’s forward momentum through the tail end of the season.
“We’re extremely confident as a unit. The team showed how quick we can turn. Now we’ll have the team spirit really good through winter, and I have seven months on top,” Kanaan said in the post-race press conference.
The win wasn’t the only bit of news revealed at the presser – Tony and wife Lauren Bohlander Kanaan confirmed Lauren will be expecting a child in late January.
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Jan 29, 2015, 7:30 PM EST
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Jan 29, 2015, 7:09 PM EST
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Jan 29, 2015, 6:33 PM EST
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Jan 29, 2015, 6:01 PM EST
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Jan 29, 2015, 5:42 PM EST
One week after announcing he was retiring after the 2015 season, Jeff Gordon told NASCAR America that he wants to win his final Daytona 500 and also walk away with his fifth career Sprint Cup championship.
Jan 29, 2015, 4:42 PM EST
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Jan 29, 2015, 4:35 PM EST
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Jan 29, 2015, 4:12 PM EST
There’s nothing like putting a little pressure on a guy, especially in his final season. Team owner Rick Hendrick expects Jeff Gordon to win 14 races and the championship in 2015!
Jan 29, 2015, 4:00 PM EST
Today’s NASCAR AMERICA runs for an hour and has a heavy No. 24 theme.
Jan 29, 2015, 3:15 PM EST
Ganassi, Sabates praise McMurray’s start to 2015.
Jan 29, 2015, 2:41 PM EST
Although he grew up a Jeff Gordon fan and was counseled by Gordon on his future, Kyle Larson will watch someone else drive the No. 24.
Jan 29, 2015, 2:35 PM EST
Fresh off a team win in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Kyle Larson not only is keeping time better, he says it’s also time to win some races and contend for the Sprint Cup championship in 2015.
Jan 29, 2015, 1:52 PM EST
The 2014 Xfinity Series champion is announced as Jeff Gordon’s successor a day before his father, Bill Elliott, is inducted in the Hall of Fame.
Jan 29, 2015, 1:00 PM EST
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