IndyCar 2015 Season Grades: Chip Ganassi Racing

Chipscooter

Photo from ap.org

Team honcho and toad lookalike Chip Ganassi took a tumble recently celebrating another IndyCar championship, injuring himself in a cycling accident and busting his collarbone. Just imagine Chip on a bike! He’ll be fine, though previously we’d thought the idea of a fish riding a bicycle was amusing, but that’s nothing compared to a toad. CGR’s top gun Scott Dixon won his fourth championship at Sonoma in a dramatic conclusion to a somewhat perilous season. As longtime readers know, anyone who can beat Team Penske is all right in our book. Plus, there’s Scott’s lovely wife Emma who’s worth a few extra credit points by any measure.

Wins: 3

Podiums: 7

Poles: 2

After its usual slow start the team showed much improvement after the mid season report card starting with Texas, where Dixie did Dallas definitively. He’d won Long Beach earlier in the year, but neither he nor the team had any further luck until venturing deep into the heart of the metroplex. In Target’s twenty sixth year in the sport – though at a diminished level – Dixie delivered the goods yet again. In addition to his three wins and two poles, Dixon had seven top fives, twelve top tens and was running at the finish in an impressive fifteen races out of sixteen.

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Photo from indycar.com

Grizzled IndyCar veteran Tony Kanaan had a lackluster year failing to win a race. The big-nosed Brazilian finished eighth in points with six top fives, ten top tens and was running at the finish in thirteen races.The best result TK managed was second and he did it twice, coming in behind his teammate at Texas Motor Speedway and runner up to Rahal at Fontana. He also finished third at the season opener in St. Pete, but the tri-athlete was largely a non-factor in the title hunt.

tktheindychannelcom

Photo from theindychannel.com

Charlie Kimball who races with diabetes muddled drowsily through a tough year to twelfth in points, though he had some decent results. Charlie turned in three top fives including third place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 and the season finale at Sonoma. He also accomplished five top tens and was running at the finish in thirteen races. Charlie needs to up his energy level as The Donald says however, else Chip’s patience may run out. “You’re fired!”

kimballpoconomotorsportcom

Photo from poconomotorsport.com

Rookie pilot Sage “Wild Man” Karam exhibited some real potential, but landed on probation due to some recklessness early in the year and wound up twentieth in points in a partial season. Karam scored two top fives including a hard charging third place finish at Iowa, much to Ed Carpenter’s chagrin. He also had two top tens and was running at the finish in nine of his twelve races. Karam’s taken the loss of Justin Wilson hard, apparently feeling in some way responsible for his tragic death. Inexplicably Sebastien Saavedra also ran, racing unremarkably in the four races Karam didn’t. At least he didn’t stall it at the start again and cause another spectacular pileup.

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Photo from usatoday.com

In another bone crushing season for the Ganassi outfit, we finally found out which Chip turned up. It was the non-bike wrecking one – at least until the season had concluded.

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Image from Indy Race Reviewer

2015 Grade: A-

2015 Midseason Grade: C

2014 Grade: C+

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