IRL: Watkins Glen: Series race report

SCOTT DIXON WINS AGAIN AT WATKINS GLEN WATKINS GLEN, N.Y., Sunday, July 8, 2007 - Scott Dixon claimed his third consecutive victory at Watkins Glen International, winning the Camping World Watkins Glen Grand Prix. Dixon tied Target Chip...

SCOTT DIXON WINS AGAIN AT WATKINS GLEN

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y., Sunday, July 8, 2007 - Scott Dixon claimed his third consecutive victory at Watkins Glen International, winning the Camping World Watkins Glen Grand Prix.

Dixon tied Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Dan Wheldon's record for consecutive victories at a track by beating Sam Hornish Jr., by 6.2591 seconds.

Dixon started second and followed polesitter Helio Castroneves around the 3.4-mile circuit for the first 19 laps before Castroneves crashed in Turn 11. Dixon led 23 of the final 41 laps, including the final 18 circuits to record his seventh victory in the IndyCar Series.

Andretti Green Racing teammates Dario Franchitti, Tony Kanaan and Marco Andretti finished third, fourth and fifth, respectively. Buddy Rice, Wheldon, Kosuke Matsuura, Darren Manning and Jeff Simmons rounded out the top 10. Castroneves finished 18th.

Franchitti remains the IndyCar Series points leader, holding a 47-point advantage over Dixon with seven races remaining.

DAY 3 NOTEBOOK:

Team Penske owner Roger Penske and Tim Cindric. president of Penske Performance Inc., are pulling triple duty this weekend. The duo missed Team Penske driver Helio Castroneves' pole-winning performance on Saturday to call the strategy for Penske sports car drivers Ryan Briscoe and Sascha Maasen and Romain Dumas and Timo Bernhard in their 1-2 finish at Lime Rock Park Saturday afternoon, before traveling to Daytona International Speedway to watch Kurt Busch (third) and Ryan Newman (14th) compete in the NASCAR Nextel Cup event. Both will be back at Watkins Glen today to call strategy for Castroneves (Cindric) and Sam Hornish Jr. (Penske).

***

Tomas Scheckter visited the Historic Grand Prix paddock Saturday afternoon to look at a Walter Wolf race car once driven by his father Jody Scheckter. Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk is driving the car this weekend.

TOMAS SCHECKTER (No. 2 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "I was checking out the car and saw how unsafe they are compared to the car I drive now. I've seen a lot of his old cars and decided to check out the ones that had here they are beautiful cars and are well taken care of. It was pretty cool." (Do you want to drive one of your dad's cars?): "Yeah, maybe just to drive it and have some fun. I don't think I'd ever want to race it."

***

CAMPING WORLD WATKINS GLEN INDY GRAND PRIX POST-RACE NOTES:

*This is Scott Dixon's first win of the 2007 season and the seventh win of his IndyCar Series career. His last win came at Nashville in July 2006.

*Dixon won his third consecutive races at Watkins Glen International. He is the second driver to win three straight races in the IndyCar Series, joining Dan Wheldon, who claimed his third-straight win at Homestead-Miami Speedway earlier this year.

*Dixon set an IndyCar Series record by running at the finish of his 26th-straight race,

*Sam Hornish Jr. finished second, his best finish on a road or street course.

*Dario Franchitti finished third, matching his best finish at Watkins Glen International.

CAMPING WORLD WATKINS GLEN INDY GRAND PRIX POST-RACE QUOTES:

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone, winner Camping World Watkins Glen Grand Prix): "We've had such good luck at the Glen. Today, the Target team did such a good job on pit road helping us get through some of the guys who hadn't cycled through. You don't know how hard you have to push to pass them. It was a great day for points. We need to make headway on Dario (Franchitti) and I think we started it today."

DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 27 Canadian Club Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "I think second was what we were really hoping for. We lost a little bit of time in the pits today and that was the difference between second and third. I'm not unhappy with the finish. This was a very, very tough race. Maybe one of the toughest. I'm just going to keep fighting (Scott) Dixon week in, week out (for the championship). He's the strongest guy in the points right now. Hopefully we'll get the Canadian Club car in Victory Circle every time."

SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda/Firestone, finished second): "Tony (Kanaan) and I - I got a run on him coming down into Turn 6 and he ran me up into the curb. There was no where to go there, so I couldn't get out of it. Obviously we bumped a little bit. It's an unfortunate deal. I have to give it to all my guys at Team Penske. We've felt for a long time that we should have been getting these top-fives on the road courses, but we haven't been able to get the job done."

TONY KANAAN: (No. 11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone, finished fourth): "You will have to ask Sam (Hornish Jr.) what happened on the track. He was the one who hit the Team 7-Eleven car from behind. After the race, I wasn't very happy, and I got out of the car to talk to him. Sam's dad bumped me, and I think that's totally wrong. When something happens on the track, we need to sort it out between ourselves, and if we can't sort it out, Brian Barnhart needs to sort it out. I was not going to fight with Sam. I was not going to punch him. We were obviously both hot and were talking about what happened and his dad came in and bumped me."

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 NYSE Group Dallara/Honda/Firestone, finished fifth): "Today was a good day for the NYSE team. We had to stretch our fuel on our second stint and were able to do that and still stay near the front. We've got another solid finish under our belt and we'll move on to Nashville."

DAN WHELDON (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone, finished seventh): "It's a little disappointing day for the No. 10 Target team. The car wasn't so bad. The balance was pretty good. I just wasn't quite quick enough all weekend. At least we salvaged some points out of it."

KOSUKE MATSUURA (No. 55 Panasonic Panther Dallara/Honda/Firestone, finished eighth): "It feels like today was my first decent race and the first race I was able to enjoy since the start of the season. I crashed in the last practice session yesterday and damaged the rear part of the car, but my crew fixed it by the qualifying session so I was able to start from the 11th. I really wanted to do well today for Super Aguri Panther guys, so I just kept pushing. It's my second top-10 finish this season, and I would like to continue improving my results and hopefully be able to finish in top five. I want to thank my crew and the team for a great job and continuing support."

DARREN MANNING: (No. 14 ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone, finished ninth): "I was quite pleased. I was able to run with the front guys. We dropped back on that one pit stop, but got the two cars back on the restart. I was a bit disappointed with the last part of the race. I lost power in my arms with the track gripping up and with our setup. I lost strength. I need to get in the gym a little more and get a bit more like A.J. (Foyt)"

JEFF SIMMONS (No. 17 Rahal Letterman Racing Team Ethanol Dallara/Honda/Firestone, finished 10th): "It was a good race for us. I was fairly pleased with where we finished and the car was a lot better in the race than it was in the warmup and we were competitive. The guys did a great job with the car. We put in a solid effort, we raced hard all day long and we got a top 10. It was good to bounce back from the last couple races where we had some bad luck. We want to be in the top 10 every week and this is a good start for us."

BUDDY RICE (No. 15 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone, finished sixth): "We wanted to get in the Top-five today, and we wanted to get in the Fast Six yesterday. I think we would have, if we had had a little bit more. Our stints sucked today, and we'll fix that for the next round at Mid-Ohio, and we'll just keep progressing. It was another good day for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing."

DANICA PATRICK (No. 7 Motorola Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "I think we could have had a great run today with the Motorola car. But, one of our stops was a hint slow and then (Tomas) Scheckter was blocking us for laps and laps and laps, and I lost so many seconds during that. Then, it cooled off and the car got too nervous and wasn't as good as it needed to be for the last stint. With the time we lost behind Scheckter and not having a good last stint, it just really hurt us."

SCOTT SHARP (No. 8 Patron Sharp Rahal Letterman Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "It was a really tough day from the start. The car was handling pretty good. I'd come out of Turn 1 with the best speed I've had all week, and we'd be 10mph down going down the backstraight, which made it tough. Of course it hurts you at the end of other straights as well. But we were able to keep pace with some other cars but we had to keep it going and bring it home to get some points."

***

The next IndyCar Series race is the Firestone Indy 200 at 7:30 p.m. (ET) on July 14 at Nashville Superspeedway. The race will be televised live by ESPN and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network. The next Indy Pro Series event is the Sunbelt Rentals 100 on July 14 at Nashville Superspeedwat. The race will be televised by ESPN2 at 5 p.m. on July 18. ESPN2's coverage of the Corning Twin 100s will be broadcast at 5:30 p.m. on July 12.

-credit: irl

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Darren Manning , Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Arie Luyendyk , Helio Castroneves , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Timo Bernhard , Buddy Rice , Ryan Briscoe , Marco Andretti , Kosuke Matsuura , Jeff Simmons , Romain Dumas , Chip Ganassi , Jody Scheckter , Roger Penske , A.J. Foyt , Brian Barnhart , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing , Dreyer & Reinbold Racing