IRL: Dixon and Wheldon finish 1-2 at Nashville

Scott Dixon pulled within five points of series leader Sam Hornish after winning the Firestone Indy 200 at the Nashville Superspeedway. Dixon took the lead on lap 134 when a series of pit stops shuffled the New Zealander to the front of the ...

Scott Dixon pulled within five points of series leader Sam Hornish after winning the Firestone Indy 200 at the Nashville Superspeedway. Dixon took the lead on lap 134 when a series of pit stops shuffled the New Zealander to the front of the field.

"I think the biggest advantage for us tonight was saving fuel," Dixon said. "It seemed a lot easier for us to save fuel. On our second stop, we went about six laps longer than Dan (Wheldon). Towards the end we just cycled to the front."

Dan Wheldon finished second, providing Ganassi Racing with a one-two finish. "I think it's a fantastic evening for Target Chip Ganassi Racing and everybody involved," Wheldon said. "I know Scott has had a very frustrating weekend, so it's good for him."

Wheldon's second place finish was hard fought as he had to battle Vitor Meira for the position. The pair were involved in a virtual shoving match with Wheldon barging past Meira in Turn four with less than ten laps remaining.

Meira finished third, just over a second ahead of Danica Patrick. "Tonight's run was a product of a labor," said Patrick after equaling her career best finish. Although the team has struggled since switching from the Panoz chassis to the Italian-made Dallara, the crew "had great pit stops and the car was working well in the second half of the race.

"One of these times we're going to win one," Patrick said. "We just need to hang around more often with the leaders."

Helio Castroneves drove his Team Penske entry to a fifth place finish, but his teammate Sam Hornish did not fare as well.

Sam Hornish, who ran second for much of the race, had just returned to the track after making his second pit stop when he got off line in Turn two. He slowly moved towards the wall, making slight contact with the outside wall before the car spun several times. The car then made light contact with the inside wall. Hornish, who was credited with 14th place, was uninjured.

"We got out after our last pit stop and I was running behind Vitor Meira," Hornish explained. "I was trying to get a run on him, and the car pushed up into the marbles. At that point there really wasn't anything I could do. It's unfortunate because the car was really good and we were strong up until that point."

Dario Franchitti was sixth, the last driver to finish on the lead lap.

The top four drivers in the championship standings are now separated by 16 points. Dixon's victory moved him into second place, leading Castroneves by a single point. Wheldon is fourth with 300 points.

The IndyCar Series moves to the Milwaukee Mile next weekend.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Dan Wheldon , Chip Ganassi , Danica Patrick , Sam Hornis
Teams Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing , Chip Ganassi Racing