KANAAN RETURNS TO VICTORY LANE WITH WIN AT IOWA SPEEDWAY
NEWTON, Iowa -- Tony Kanaan finally finished a race at Iowa Speedway.
The veteran Andretti Autosport driver won for the first time since June 2008, prevailing in the Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by Pioneer. Kanaan, who started 15th, overtook Helio Castroneves with 10 laps remaining on the .875-mile track.
E.J. Viso finished an IZOD IndyCar Series-high third and Ryan Briscoe was fourth.
Will Power, the pole sitter, finished fifth to regain the series championship points lead. Dario Franchitti, the leader entering the race, looked to be a contender until the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car had a gearbox issue with 50 laps remaining.
He had taken the lead from Castroneves a lap earlier.
DAY 2 NOTEBOOK:
It was a special weekend for John O'Gara. He was with extended family at the racetrack, race day also happened to be Father's Day and on June 19 he celebrated his 28th wedding anniversary with his bride, Jean.
O'Gara, the race strategist among other things for the No. 67 Dollar General car driven by team owner Sarah Fisher, has the opportunity to work side by side with son Andy and daughter Colleen.
"It's incredible to be able to follow him like I did growing up and to come to all the racetracks and root him on and to now be here on the other end," said Andy, who happens to be married to the owner/driver.
Both were part of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing for many years before leaving to start Sarah Fisher Racing in 2008. Sarah's 80th IZOD IndyCar Series start was cut short when the No. 67 car drifted up the track in Turn 4 and made light contact with the SAFER Barrier on Lap 95.
"Sometimes you don't appreciate it while you're here but when you get home and take time to think about what you're doing, where you're at and who's around you and it means a great deal to us," Andy O'Gara said.
There are two sons of famous racing fathers competing in today's race on Father's Day: Graham Rahal, who is driving the #24 Dad's Root Beer car for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, is the son of 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal. Marco Andretti, who drives the #26 Team Venom Energy for Andretti Autosport owned by his father Michael
In addition, there are three sets of fathers and sons working on the spotter's stand today: Former Indianapolis 500 polesitter Pancho Carter (Dale Coyne Racing) is joined by his sons Dane (Dreyer & Reinbold Racing) and Cole (de Ferran Dragon Racing); Glenn "Packy" Wheeler (Panther Racing) and his son Chris (Dale Coyne Racing); Rik Crews and his son C.R. (Both with KV Racing Technology.
About 115 Boy Scouts from Iowa were part of the pre-race ceremonies at Iowa Speedway.
They had the opportunity to get an up-close look at the No. 19 Boys Scouts of America car driven by former Scout Alex Lloyd. Boy Scouts of America is celebrating its centennial anniversary, and the program with Dale Coyne Racing focuses on the benefits of Scouting in a changing world.
"It's phenomenal to have organizations like the Indy (Racing League) behind the Boy Scouts and realize that this program is what we need in today's world," said Jim Fox, scoutmaster of Troop 111 from Grimes, Iowa. "We've even added merit badges that fit today's world - geocaching, inventing - but the basic core values haven't changed from 1912."
Brett Snyder of Muscatine, Iowa, a tire changer on the No. 78 Team Stargate Worlds/HVM Racing car, suffered a sprained ankle when struck by the car entering the pit stall during a stop in the first half of the race. ... Danica Patrick was running at the finish for the 24th consecutive race -- four off Scott Dixon's series record. Patrick posted her third consecutive top-10 finish. ... Dixon, who started in the top 10 for the 40th consecutive race, finished in the top 10 for the sixth race in a row. His five-race top 5 streak ended with a sixth-place finish.
IOWA CORN INDY 250 POST-RACE NOTES:
* This is Tony Kanaan's first win of the season and the 14th of his IZOD IndyCar Series career. His last win was at Richmond in 2008.
* This is Andretti Autosport's second win of the season. It won previously at Long Beach with Ryan Hunter-Reay.
* This is Helio Castroneves' second podium finishes of the 2010 season. He was on the podium when he won at Barber Motorsports Park in April.
* E.J. Viso finished a career-best third. His previous best finish in the IZOD IndyCar Series was fourth at St. Petersburg in 2008.
* The third place finish for KV Racing Technology matches the team's previous best IZOD IndyCar Series finish. Driver Mario Moraes finished third for the team at Chicagoland in 2009.
IOWA CORN INDY 250 POST-RACE QUOTES:
DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing): "I was leading at the time and the gearbox went. I was shifting from sixth down to fifth and came up with a box full of neutrals. We had a winning car today, but it wasn't anybody's fault. The Target team did a great job today. These things just happen."
TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Team 7-Eleven, winner Iowa Corn Indy 250): "I have to thank my team and the entire 7-Eleven crew. They did a great job. I had a great car. I have thank my teammates. Marco (Andretti) and Ryan (Hunter-Reay) came over after qualifying. I was very disappointed. I made a mistake during qualifying and I was pretty down. They talked to me for 45 minutes and cheered me up. Marco gave me a little bit of his setup and Ryan actually helped me with the setup, putting it together for today. It was a great job as a team and it feels good."
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Team Penske, finished second): "Team Penske did a great job. We finished fourth and fifth as well so all of our cars were in the front. Somehow the No. 3 car was always wearing out the left front. When I needed it the most, unfortunately it wasn't there. I'm not sure. Maybe that bump between Tony (Kanaan) and Scott (Dixon) might have caused something because it was very hard to set up the car during the race. I should be happy but with ten laps to go, it slipped right through my hands. We had great pit stops. The team did an incredible job. Tony did seem to have a better car. He could run everywhere but more consistent. It's a shame for us today, but for the championship it is very good.
E.J. VISO (No. 8 PDVSA-Jet Aviation-KV Racing Technology, finished third): "It's been a very tough year for the team. We all knew that we could get there. We have some very good people on the team and good drivers. We finished in the position we deserved to have. I hope this is the start of good things to come for the rest of the season."
RYAN BRISCOE (No. 6 Team Penske, finished fourth): "I'm so happy with this fourth place finish today. I was scared. That first stint, the car was very loose. I think the change with the wind direction today, it really (inaudible) my car in Turn 1 with the bump. I was in a lot of trouble, so come in fourth today is a great effort by Team Penske. We made a few changes during the pit stops and they gave me positions on the yellow stops. That was really good."
RAPHAEL MATOS (No. 2 HP de Ferran Dragon Racing): "I had an OK race. The car ran well most of the race. We collected points, which is important. There is still a lot of the season to go. We had a mechanical issue during an early pit stop that hurt us a bit, but it was a good race overall. The change we made to the car yesterday after qualifying really helped and we moved in the right direction. We are continuing to understand the data and improve the car, which is important for the future."
SIMONA DE SILVESTRO (No. 78 Team Stargate Worlds/HVM): "We were really struggling for the last 20 laps. It was really hard to drive over the bump in Turn 2. I don't know what happened. We were OK at the beginning of the race. We had a mishap in the pits and we ran the tires down a lot. I'm sure we can learn a lot from this weekend. We have a lot of work ahead of us."
VITOR MEIRA (No. 14 ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt Racing): "It was a good result. What matters is that we're improving and being consistent everywhere we go. We've had top 10s and the next stage is top fives. It's hard in this series, but the ABC Supply team is moving forward and that's important."
WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske): "We were just a little bit too loose. I had a couple of big moments. I worked with the stuff in the cockpit, and it wasn't bad at the end. It was pretty good. I should have gone the high side on those backmarkers. This track is so setup dependent. If you have a bad setup you're going backwards, so you have to nail it.
SARAH FISHER (No. 67 Dollar General/Sarah Fisher Racing): "It was a racing accident. There's just not a whole lot of room, so when you go into a corner two-wide and there's a lack of grace, it makes it tough to go in the top. The marbles are bad here anyway. I almost had it but I got in the marbles after running a little high."
TAKUMA SATO (No. 5 Lotus-KV Racing Technology): "I was just lapping traffic when I was looked inside and a car chopped into me. I was trying to be careful but I was too wide and went into the wall. I'm really disappointed. I feel very sorry for the team. They did a tremendous job over the weekend. Every pit stop was great. We worked on the car during every pit stop, trying different set ups to match the environment we have today. We were gradually gaining positions. I'm just disappointed finishing like this."
HIDEKI MUTOH (No. 06 Formula Dream/Panasonic): "The car was reasonable at the beginning of the race. I was off the pace a little bit but we were working with the car. Once everyone got up to speed it was difficult to stay with them though. The guys did a fantastic job overnight and every day. I'm disappointed with myself because I think I could have done better. We're going to work hard to figure this out for the next round of oval races."
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing): "I think we did alright today but we weren't able to maximize points. After 40 laps we saw a lot of tire wear for some reason and I just got a ton of understeer. It was a shame but we managed to stay in the points mix."
The 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season continues July 4 with the Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen at Watkins Glen International. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 3:30 p.m. (ET) by ABC. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network, XM channel 145 and Sirius channel 211. The race also will be carried on www.indycar.com. The 2010 Firestone Indy Lights season continues with the Corning 100 on July 4 at the Watkins International.