INDYCAR SERIES NEWS AND NOTES -- June 4, 2007 Today's IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series headlines: 1. Kanaan changes plans, still wins 2. Drivers reap post-race rewards 3. Of note 1. Kanaan changes plans, still wins: Tony Kanaan threw ...
INDYCAR SERIES NEWS AND NOTES -- June 4, 2007
Today's IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series headlines:
1. Kanaan changes plans, still wins
2. Drivers reap post-race rewards
3. Of note
1. Kanaan changes plans, still wins: Tony Kanaan threw superstition to the wind at The Milwaukee Mile. It worked, and in the process another was born.
Last year, a laundry mix-up necessitated that the Andretti Green Racing driver wear the same firesuit for three days of practice, qualifying and racing at The Mile. He won, and indicated that he would follow the same path for the June 2-3 ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt 225 presented by Time Warner Cable.
Well, Kanaan changed his mind -- and suit -- for the race. He won again, beating teammate and Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti to the checkers by 2.5707 seconds.
"I changed suits today," Kanaan said after exiting Victory Circle. "See, all my superstitions go to the trash every time I change something. It's just in your head really."
The victory moved Kanaan to fourth in the championship standings after six of 17 rounds. He'll have little time to celebrate as practice for the Bombardier Learjet 550k at the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway begins June 7.
Franchitti made his way to Victory Lane to congratulate Kanaan, who led the 91st Indianapolis 500 when rain brought out the red flag. The race re-started after a 2-hour, 57-minute delay, and Franchitti was ahead of the pack when rain cut short the race by 34 laps.
"(Franchitti) said, 'If there is a payback, I think you got yours,'" Kanaan said. I said, 'Yeah, the difference is it's a $1 million check versus $100,000.'"
Franchitti predicted Kanaan, who started third, would win at The Mile.
"Between me and him, it's such a special relationship as friends," Kanaan said. "As soon as I crossed the finish line, I saw he was second, I knew he was leading the championship. We're doing what we were supposed to do. As a team, we're working really well together, the two of us. Now we need to bring the other two guys up the way we have. The more help we get up in the front, the easier it's going to be for us to win this championship."
2. Drivers reap post-race rewards: Tony Kanaan again reaped the benefits from winning an IndyCar Series event.
As the Kansas Lottery Indy 300 race winner, Kanaan was presented an Automatic Gran Data 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.
Helio Castroneves collected the AAMCO Transmissions Pole Award and its $10,000 prize, while Dan Wheldon won the Firestone Performance Award and its $10,000 prize for leading Lap 140 of the race. Buddy Rice 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 victory in the Road Runner 100, Alex Lloyd was presented with a 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 Pole Award and its $1,000 prize.
3. Of note: Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti leads the IndyCar Series point standings for the first time in his IndyCar Series career. The last time an Andretti Green Racing driver led the point standings was when Dan Wheldon claimed the IndyCar Series title at the conclusion of the 2005 season--Including Franchitti, seven of the 18 full-time IndyCar competitors have led the point standings at some point in their careers--Helio Castroneves has made 22 consecutive top-10 starts, three shy of Sam Hornish Jr.'s record (25)-- Scott Dixon has been running at the finish of 22 consecutive races running at the finish, Tony Kanaan holds the record with 25 starts.
The 2007 IndyCar Series season continues with the Bombardier Learjet 550 on June 9 at Texas Motor Speedway. The race will be telecast at 10 p.m. (ET) by ESPN2 and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network beginning at 9 p.m. (ET). 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 Liberty Challenge doubleheader on June 16-17 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. The races will be telecast by ESPN2 at 5 p.m. on June 21. ESPN2's coverage of the Road Runner 100 will be telecast at 6 p.m. on June 7 by ESPN2.