From the Kentucky Speedway
SPARTA, Ky. (Aug. 11, 2007) Andretti Green Racing driver Tony Kanaan took his second straight IndyCar Series win and first at Kentucky Speedway on Aug. 11 in the Meijer Indy 300 Presented by Coca-Cola and Edys by 1.7457 seconds over Ganassi Racing driver Scott Dixon.
Photo by Don Ward
Tony Kanaan hoists
his victory trophy into
the air after dominating
the field to win the
Meijer 300 at the
Kanaan started the race from the pole position after qualifying 1.276-mph better than second-place starter and teammate Dario Franchitti. Kanaan then led a race-high 131 laps and took his sixth and final race lead following a caution restart on Lap 191 by sailing his No. 11 Team 7-Eleven car past the No. 20 of third-place finisher A.J. Foyt, IV at the finish line.
Kanaans fourth win of the season combined with Dixons fourth top-two finish in the past five races and series-leader Franchittis eighth-place showing significantly tightened the series championship race with three events remaining on the 2007 docket.
Obviously the car that is leading always has an advantage, said Kanaan, who nailed down his 11th career series win. Dixon finished second, so I didnt make up much ground (in the championship). I have to win races and thats what I did today. Dario is doing a great job. He just had an unfortunate day today. If I can help him out, I will, if not, Ill try to win the championship.
Dixon and his No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing entry reeled in his 11th top-five and 12th top-10 finish through 14 starts this season.
It was a tough day. He (Kanaan) had speed nobody could touch, Dixon said. It was his day to lose. Its nice to close the gap a little, we can see light at the end of the tunnel. We have to go out and win races and if we cant win, we have to finish second and so on. We definitely dont need T.K. winning anymore.
Foyt, IV, climbed from the 10th starting spot to close out the race with his first career series top-five finish and second straight top-10 result after closing out last weeks race eighth at Michigan International Speedway. His No. 20 Vision Racing entry was one of three team cars in the race top-10.
I think its really one of those deals where the team is coming together, Foyt, IV said. I cant ask for anything more from my guys. The pit stops keep getting better. Everybody is just working hard and Team Manager Larry Curry is doing whatever he can to get us faster. This is my first year in the IndyCar Series with an engineer to work with, so I think it definitely helps.
Marco Andretti placed fourth in his No. 26 NYSE Andretti Green Racing machine, and Tomas Scheckter closed out the race top five.
Franchittis race ended with high drama for a second straight week. He walked away from spectacular crash in which his No. 27 Canadian Club machine flipped and flew in the air backwards last week at Michigan International Speedway and was involved in a near carbon copy of that incident when he took the checkered flag at Kentucky.
His car made contact with the rear end of the No. 55 car under the command of 17th-place finisher Kosuke Matsuura. The No. 27 went airborne and nearly flipped upside down while flying forward. The rear end of the car made contact with the wall near the entrance of Turn 1 and helped bring the race machine to rest.
That was my fault, I didnt realize it was the checkered flag lap, Franchitti said. Im disgusted with myself.
He posted his 13th top-10 finish through 14 starts this season.
Mutoh wins Indy Pro race
Panther Racing rookie Hideki Mutoh took an exciting three-wide Indy Pro Series win Aug. 11 at Kentucky Speedway by 0.1023 of a second over series leader Alex Lloyd.
The Tokyo, Japan, native earned his second series win of the season after leading a 66 of 67 laps. But he had to cross the finish line at the helm of a three-wide pack that included Lloyd and Wade Cunningham.