IRL: Kentucky: Series race report

KANAAN WINS MEIJER INDY 300 AT KENTUCKY SPEEDWAY SPARTA, Ky., Saturday, Aug. 11, 2007 -- Tony Kanaan scored his second straight IndyCar Series victory, beating Scott Dixon to win the Meijer Indy 300 presented by Coca-Cola and Edy's at Kentucky...

KANAAN WINS MEIJER INDY 300 AT KENTUCKY SPEEDWAY

SPARTA, Ky., Saturday, Aug. 11, 2007 -- Tony Kanaan scored his second straight IndyCar Series victory, beating Scott Dixon to win the Meijer Indy 300 presented by Coca-Cola and Edy's at Kentucky Speedway.

The victory was Kanaan's fourth win of the season and the 11th of his IndyCar Series career.

Dixon's runner-up finish, coupled with Dario Franchitti's eighth-place finish, cut Franchitti's points lead to eight with three races remaining. Kanaan is now 52 points behind his teammate Franchitti.

A.J. Foyt IV finished a career-best third, followed by Marco Andretti and Tomas Scheckter.

MEIJER INDY 300 POST-RACE NOTES:

* This is Tony Kanaan's fourth win of the season and his 11th career IndyCar Series victory. He is the fifteenth driver to win back-to-back races in the IndyCar Series and third driver to win back-to-back.

* This is Andretti Green Racing's 30th win in the IndyCar Series, the most by any entrant in the IndyCar Series.

* Scott Dixon finished second, his 11th top-five finish this season.

* A.J. Foyt IV finished third, his first career top-five finish. His previous best finish was eighth at Michigan last week.

* Vision Racing placed three cars in top 10 for the first time.

MEIJER INDY 300 POST-RACE QUOTES:

TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone, winner Meijer Indy 300): "The car was really good. I've got to thank all the 7-Eleven crew. They did a great job. It was a good weekend. I've never had two wins in a row. Unfortunate for Dario again, but thank goodness he's OK again. Let's move on now." (About the championship): "We've got to take it one at a time. I'm not thinking about the championship right now. We've got to think about winning and try to get closer."

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone, finished second): "My guys did a fantastic job in the pits and enabled us to jump in front of the two AGR cars. TK on the restarts, along with Dario, just blew around the outside of me. Both those guys were so fast. It was frustrating. We were able to split them up and keep Dario behind me, which was the main thing. And then we had that pit stop there where Danica had her problem and Dario ran off into the grass and maybe wrecked his wing a little bit. It was finally their night to lose. We made good gains in the points today."

A.J. FOYT IV (No. 22 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone, finished third): ""It was obviously really good for us and really good for my team. We just had some great pit stops and that's what really got me up there. We were running well and in the top-10 all day long, but it was those pit stops that got me up there. We were in the lead there with 12 to go and obviously, Tony (Kanaan) was very strong so I couldn't hold him off and then Scott (Dixon) snuck through under there as well too. But, it was good and I raced clean all day with everybody so there was no reason to change that there at the end. It's just very good for the team and I owe it all to my guys who gave me great pit stops and my engineer, Matt Curry, gave me a good car today."

TOMAS SCHECKTER (No. 2 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone, finished fifth): "It was a good run. We would have liked to have been a little higher up as we ran higher up throughout the evening, but I think that last yellow just really caught us out. Overall it was a good job for our team with a top-five and a top-three finish. I'm just happy for Anthony (Foyt) and the whole team. It was a great race for us so now we just need to build off of that."

SCOTT SHARP (No. 8 Patron Sharp Rahal Letterman Dallara/Honda/Firestone, finished sixth): "That was one of the best cars I have had on a mile-and-a-half track in a long time. We could put the car anywhere we wanted and it felt good. We made a lot of gains today. That's the most competitive we've been this year and I am very happy. The car was balanced, and felt good in traffic and enabled us to try a few things. We got good points and that's what counts."

ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Hitachi Power Tools/Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone, finished seventh): "It was a good run. We would have liked to have been a little higher up as we ran higher up throughout the evening, but I think that last yellow just really caught us out. Overall it was a good job for our team with a top-five and a top-three finish. I'm just happy for Anthony (Foyt) and the whole team. It was a great race for us so now we just need to build off of that."

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda/Firestone, finished ninth): "We were running in the top five after our first pit stop and then something happened with the car. It's a shame because we started the race strong and the Team Penske car was handling well. The good news is that we still finished in the top 10. I have to hand it to my guys, they did a fantastic job in the pits all day and at least we were able to get some points out of it."

DARIO FRANCHITTI (No 27 Canadian Club Dallara/Honda/Firestone, finished eighth): About post-race accident): "That one was completely my fault, there's no excuse. I screwed up twice in the race. I screwed up once coming out of the pits, and then after the checkered, Kosuke (Matsuura) lifted, and I didn't realize it was checkered. I got the, 'Hey it's a checkered,' just as I was hitting him. I'm pretty disgusted with myself right now for that. For both my mistakes today and again it could have been a big one. I'm glad I'm OK."

KOSUKE MATSUURA (No. 55 Panasonic Panther Dallara/Honda/Firestone, finished 11th): "After the checkered I let off, and (Dario Franchitti) didn't see me, and he hit me. When we were getting in the safety car, he said, 'My fault.' He understood what exactly happened and he apologized to me about that. The race is over so there is nothing more we can do."

DANICA PATRICK (No. 7 Motorola Dallara/Honda/Firestone, finished 16th): "On pit exit, I was leaving with hot tires. We didn't change them and I was not even flat out. I was lifting, and usually at pit out, even on cold tires, we should pretty much be flat. It just went, it just spun Then after we got going there was such a flat spot and blister on the right rear that the tire blew. I pitted as soon as the pits opened, which in hindsight of course, I would have pitted as soon as it happened, but at the end of the day, we're not going to finish that much different if we came in or whether we hit, but now unfortunately the guys have work to do. I think there was a pretty strong performance by AGR with all four cars being in the top seven or eight at the end there. Tony was really fast so it looks like he is going to get this one."

DAN WHELDON (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "It's just unfortunate. I think Sam (Hornish Jr.) got loose in Dario's dirty air and spun. I was just trying to sneak around the outside, which I couldn't quite get underneath him. He just clipped me, barely. It's just a shame for everybody at Target Chip Ganassi Racing. But Scott is still in the race hopefully he can try to gain some points on Dario, which would be great for the team." (About trying to return to the race): "I'm not sure. The car is really not -- you know, he barely touched me. Hopefully, we can get back out and salvage some points. At the end of the day, it's just unfortunate."

SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "We had a good car and moved up real quick on the start. It was unfortunate. Dario picked the outside line going around. I tried to get to the other side, just came out and took the air off of the car. Unfortunately as soon as you get to the other side, it puts a whole bunch of down force on the front and the back end came around. There was nothing we could really do about that at that time."

***

The next IndyCar Series event is the Motorola Indy 300 presented by Jackson Rancheria at 3:30 p.m. (ET) on Aug. 26 at Infineon Raceway. The race will be televised live by ESPN and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network. The next Indy Pro Series event is the Carneros 100 on Aug.25 at Infineon Raceway. ESPN2's coverage of the Kentucky 100 will be broadcast at 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 16 by ESPN2.

-credit: irl

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , A.J. Foyt IV , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Marco Andretti , Chip Ganassi
Teams Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing