IPS: IRL: Kentucky: Chip Ganassi Racing race report

TARGET TEAM & DIXON SECOND AT KENTUCKY: JUST EIGHT POINTS FROM LEADER IN CHAMPIONSHIP Florence, Kentucky (Saturday, August 11, 2007) -- Target Chip Ganassi Racing has cut their deficit to the IndyCar Series Championship lead to just eight points...


Florence, Kentucky (Saturday, August 11, 2007) -- Target Chip Ganassi Racing has cut their deficit to the IndyCar Series Championship lead to just eight points with Scott Dixon's second place finish to race winner Tony Kanaan on the 1.5 mile oval at Kentucky Speedway. Dixon's fifth runner-up finish and 11th top-five of the season, coupled with points leader Dario Franchitti's eighth place finish, has put the Target team within reach of the title with just a three races left in the 2007 season.

Dixon, who started fourth on the grid, briefly took the lead for four laps when his Target crew put him out front after a pit stop on lap 129 under caution. He could not however keep a very quick Kanaan behind him and had to settle for a strong second place finish. A.J.Foyt IV of Vision Racing finished third.

Target Teammate Dan Wheldon posted the fastest lap (218.629 mph) of the race on lap 27 but shortly there after, the no.10 Target Honda sustained heavy damage after being clipped by a spinning Sam Hornish Jr. on lap 36 and hitting an infield wall. The Target crew repaired as much damage as possible to return their car and driver to the track long enough to gain one finishing position for a valuable two points on Hornish. Wheldon was credited with a 17th place finishing position.

Dixon (510 points) has cut down Franchitti's (518 points) lead in the championship from 65 points just a few short weeks ago to just eight points with three races to go. Race winner Tony Kanaan (466 points) has also closed the gap to the leader to 52 points with his fourth race win of the year. Meanwhile, Dan Wheldon is fourth with 388 points and Sam Hornish Jr. rounds out the top five with 379 points.

The Pro Series contested their first ever night race following Saturday's twilight IndyCar race. From a sixth place starting spot on the grid, the no.9 CareCentric Target team and driver Chris Festa earned a fourth place finish in the Kentucky 100. Rookie Hideki Mutoh won his second Indy Pro Series victory, holding off Alex Lloyd and Wade Cunningham.

Only three races remain in the 2007 IndyCar Series season. Of the remaining tracks, the next two are road courses; 80 laps on the physically demanding natural-terrain Infineon Raceway course and 90 laps on a refurbished Detroit Belle Isle street circuit. The season finale will take place at Chicagoland speedway.

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.


SCOTT DIXON: "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."

DAN WHELDON: "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. The crew did a great job getting me back out just to get in a lap and salvage two points on Hornish. It's just been frustrating few months now but we still have three races to make an impact."

Chris Festa (ProSeries) "There were more yellows that we would have liked to have but that's the way it goes sometimes. The car was pretty good. We were just struggling to find a straight line speed this weekend. We'll go back and work on it before Chicago. The team did a really good job and we gained some momentum. I just look forward to keeping it going the last few races.

-credit: cgr

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About this article
Series IndyCar , Indy Lights
Drivers Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Chip Ganassi , Alex Lloyd , Chris Festa , Hideki Mutoh , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Chip Ganassi Racing