New Zealander Scott Dixon plans to reduce Tony Kanaan’s IRL championship lead at the Firestone Indy 200 in Nashville, Tennessee on Saturday. But his first target will be a third straight pole position - his fourth first place start in the last seven races.

New Zealander Scott Dixon plans to reduce Tony Kanaan’s IRL championship lead at the Firestone Indy 200 in Nashville, Tennessee on Saturday. But his first target will be a third straight pole position - his fourth first place start in the last seven races.


“The thunder from Down Under” is fast climbing the records ladder. Eight races into his IRL career, Dixon already stands eleventh all-time in laps led. He also stands ninth in wins (three) and ninth in pole wins (three) all-time. His South African team-mate Tomas Scheckter is seventh all-time in laps led and tied for fifth in pole wins with four.


A Team Target driver has set the fastest leader lap in six out of the first eight races this year. Scott Dixon set the pace in Homestead, Phoenix, Pikes Peak and Richmond, while Scheckter accomplished the feat in Texas and Japan. But will the Team Target Panoz Toyota team convert their string of lead laps into more wins?


"We just finished two days of testing in Nashville and we're happy with the progress that we made. The track is the only concrete surfaced track that we race on and was good to get the track time to prepare. We had two main goals at the beginning of the season. One was to win Indy and the other was to win the championship,” Dixon said.


“We're second in points behind Tony (Kanaan) and our focus now is to win the championship. The team had given me cars that can win races at every track that we have been to. We're at the halfway point in the season now and we have a great opportunity in front of us. If we can keep winning races, we'll be right there at the end," he added.


Scheckter expects to chalk up a win for Target Toyota very soon: "It's been a challenging season so far this year. We've led a bunch of laps and been in contention to win at a lot of tracks, but things just haven't fallen our way yet. With the cars that Team Target gives us each week, there's not doubt that we'll win some races.


“Our test in Nashville went very well and I'm excited about next weekend. We ran competitive laps in testing and I think we have as good a chance as anyone to win here. The track is pretty smooth and it's a very nice facility. We'll keep digging and give it our best shot there next week," he added.