Chip Ganassi Racing pulled off a triumph of championship proportions on Saturday (July 12th) by placing Scott Dixon first and teammate Dan Wheldon second in the rain-shortened Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville SuperSpeedway. Dixon remained...
Chip Ganassi Racing pulled off a triumph of championship proportions on Saturday (July 12th) by placing Scott Dixon first and teammate Dan Wheldon second in the rain-shortened Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville SuperSpeedway.
Dixon remained on-track during a late-race pit stop by Andretti Green Racing's Tony Kanaan to take the lead before a thunderstorm erupted and ended the event, lifting the New Zealander to his third victory over the 1.33 mile concrete oval in Lebanon, Tennesse, thirty miles east of Nashville.
"Things didn't really go all that well," said the 2008 Indianapolis 500 winner of a weekend that had up until the rain started been memorable only for a disappointing sixth-place qualifying effort. "But it's one of those seasons where it seems everything is going our way.
"I feel bad for Tony Kanaan because he was up front and could have won," Dixon continued, "but I am very happy for the team. It's a big step toward the championship."
Wheldon finished second, while Team Penske's Helio Castroneves came home third. "It was a lucky night for us," said Wheldon. "Once the rain came it just kept coming and coming. Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good."
"They took a chance and it paid off," said Helio of the bold move by TCGR to stay out in a race that was called after 171 of a planned 200 laps.
Kanaan finished fourth, in front of teammate Danica Patrick.
The result lifts Dixon further to the top of the IndyCar Series championship points lead with 420 points and a comfy sixty-three point gap over Casatroneves. Wheldon, Kanaan and Patrick trail in third through fifth places in the championship standings.
IndyCar action resumes in a scant five days at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course near Mansfield, Ohio.