INDYCAR SERIES NEWS AND NOTES -- April 2, 2007 Today's IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series headlines 1. Consistent Dixon leads point standings 2. Rice's finishes 10th despite broken suspension 3. Drivers reap post-race rewards 1. Consistent...
INDYCAR SERIES NEWS AND NOTES -- April 2, 2007
Today's IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series headlines
1. Consistent Dixon leads point standings
2. Rice's finishes 10th despite broken suspension
3. Drivers reap post-race rewards
1. Consistent Dixon leads point standings: Helio Castroneves and Dan Wheldon have dominated the first two races of the 2007 IndyCar Series season, but Scott Dixon holds the points lead. The Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver stalked Marco Andretti early and then Castroneves in the late stages of the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg patiently waiting for a mistake that could hand him his first IndyCar Series win on a street course. The mistake, however, never came, leaving Dixon frustrated with his second consecutive runner-up finish on temporary street circuit on the streets of St. Petersburg
"Following Helio all bloody day was taking its toll," said Dixon, who raced a Honda-powered Dallara on a street course for the first time. "You just sit there and you're waiting for the guy to make a mistake. That's all you're doing. You're trying to apply as much pressure as you can.
"It is tough just following the same car every time, every time. (Castroneves) drove a great race, there's no doubt about it. We couldn't give him any more pressure than what we did, and he didn't make a mistake."
Still, the 2003 IndyCar Series champion's back-to-back second-place finishes on the oval at Homestead-Miami Speedway and at St. Petersburg give him a five-point lead over race winners Castroneves and Wheldon as the series shifts to Twin Ring Motegi on April 21.
"It's a great start for Target Chip Ganassi Racing," Dixon said. "Two second-place finishes after only two races this year puts us in the points lead. Helio had us covered, but I think we had a little more speed on cold tires. We didn't make any mistakes and had a clean race, so it was a good day for us."
2. Rice's finishes 10th despite broken suspension: Dreyer & Reinbold Racing's Buddy Rice was disappointed to finish 10th at St. Petersburg. Then he learned he had raced much of the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg with a broken front suspension.
"We had a problem with the car early on in the race and we weren't sure what it was," Rice said. "We found out at the end of the race that we broke the upper wish bone in the right front corner. So, basically, we ran most of the race with that. I guess for us to finish where we did was pretty good."
3. Drivers reap post-race rewards: Helio Castroneves reaped the benefits from winning an IndyCar Series event. As the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg race winner, Castroneves was presented Automatic Gran Data "Silver Peach" timepiece from Ritmo Mundo, the official timepiece of the IndyCar Series. Ritmo Mundo presents a timepiece to the winner of each IndyCar Series event in 2007 and a $100,000 timepiece to the IndyCar Series champion.
Castroneves also collected the IndyCar Series Pole Award and its $10,000 prize and the Firestone Performance Award and its $10,000 prize for leading Lap 75 (mile 136) of the race. Dan Wheldon claimed the Lincoln Electric Hard Charger Award and its $2,000 prize for being the race leader who started furthest back.
As part of his Indy Pro Series Grand Prix of St. Petersburg sweep, Alex Lloyd was presented with a pair of Forum timepiece from Ritmo Mundo, the official timepiece of the Indy Pro Series. Ritmo Mundo presents a timepiece to the winner of each Indy Pro Series event in 2007 and a $25,000 timepiece to the Indy Pro Series champion. Lloyd also collected the SWE Race Car Parts Pole Award and its $1,000 prize.
The 2007 IndyCar Series season continues with the Indy Japan 300 at 11:30 p.m. (ET) on April 20. It will by broadcast live by the IMS Radio Network with a same-day telecast at noon (ET) by ESPN. A Spanish-language telecast of the race will be carried by ESPN Deportes. The IMS Radio Network broadcast also is carried on XM Satellite Radio and www.indycar.com. The sixth season of Indy Pro Series competition continues with the Freedom 100 on May 25 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race will be telecast as part of ESPN2's coverage of Carb Day at 4 p.m. on May 25.