Andretti Green Racing's Tony Kanaan drove away from the field to win the Meijer Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway. The AGR driver set the pace for over 139 laps as he clearly had the measure of any competitor on Saturday (August 11th) evening. "It...
Andretti Green Racing's Tony Kanaan drove away from the field to win the Meijer Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway.
The AGR driver set the pace for over 139 laps as he clearly had the measure of any competitor on Saturday (August 11th) evening.
"It was a great night," Kanaan said. "Since Indy we've had a lot of ups and downs, but we kept our spirits up and here we go!"
The win was Kanaan's fourth of the year, the most of any IndyCar series driver during the 2007 season.
Kanaan's margin of victory was 1.7 seconds, but he was better by any measure throughout the day.
"Even when I was not leading, I still felt confident. On the restarts I was able to pull away because the other cars were not quite as fast. That's what happened," he said with his typical, wry, TK smile leaving no doubt that he had (and still has) plenty of car in reserve.
Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon finished second, while Vision Racing's AJ Foyt IV recorded his best finish ever in third.
"For us, we've got to go out and win races and gain points," said Dixon who moved to within eight points of Dario Franchitti in the chase for the IRL championship. "We've got to stay aggressive and keep the pressure on, and we'll see what happens."
"My team was amazing. The pit stops put me in the lead with twelve to go," said Foyt IV. "Unfortunately Tony got past me at the end, but it was a good day for us. I owe it all to the team and the great car they gave me today."
Marco Andretti finished fourth, ahead of Vision's Tomas Scheckter who recorded a fifth-place finish after also briefly taking the lead when pitstops reshuffled the field with ten laps remaining.
Scott Sharp placed sixth in the Rahal Letterman Racing machine, ahead of Vision's Ed Carpenter, Dario Franchitti and Team Penske's Helio Castroneves. Panther Racing's Vitor Meira finished tenth in the race.
The race was full of spectacle, including a post-race collision between Dario Franchitti and Kosuke Matsuura. Franchitti appeared to close rapidly on the slowing Matsuura and struck the Japanese racer, flipping into the air along the front straightaway.
Franchitti was not injured in the incident, nor was Matsuura.
"It was totally my fault," said the Scot, who had a frightening airborne incident only five days ago at Michigan International Speedway. "I've got to apologize to Matsuura, and to my teammates for the way I drove today."
Danica Patrick was frustrated once again when she spun her car exiting the pits on lap 180. After restarting, her right rear tire deflated, sending her spinning into the SAFER barrier and putting her day to an end.
Franchitti also took the brunt of a run-in with Patrick as well, when he narrowly avoided her on entering the pits just prior to Patrick's spin. Franchitti struck a pylon at the pitlane entrance requiring replacement of the nose and front wing of his car.
The Indy Racing League championship race tightened significantly with Kanaan's win. Kanaan now stands fifty-two points shy of Franchitti, with Scott Dixon only eight points behind the Scot.