IRL: Alex Barron scores first IRL victory at Nashville

LEBANON, TENN (July 20, 2002) - Alex Barron earned his first Indy Racing League victory tonight at the 1.33-mile Nashville Superspeedway. Barron, who spent two years driving for Dan Gurney's All American Racers team in CART, earned his first win...

LEBANON, TENN (July 20, 2002) - Alex Barron earned his first Indy Racing League victory tonight at the 1.33-mile Nashville Superspeedway. Barron, who spent two years driving for Dan Gurney's All American Racers team in CART, earned his first win in his eleventh Indy Racing start.

"This has been a long time coming," said Barron. "We had a little luck with us today. We've been showing a lot of speed week in and week out, but there's always been something there to knock us down."

Barron took the lead on a late race restart, passing Scott Sharp into turn one. "I got a good run on Scott on the restart. I was going to go around on the high side, but you can't really run up high at the end of the race here. I tried it once but you lose the front end of the car. I kind of backed off, let him drift up and then I swung back underneath him."

Seeing Barron's move to the inside, Gil de Ferran tried the same thing. Sharp moved low, nearly forcing de Ferran off the track.

"I don't know quite where Gil was," Sharp said. "I knew he tried to move down, finally I saw that he was there. He had me so I decided to give him room."

Sharp, who crossed the finish line third, was penalized one lap for blocking during the restart. Sharp was scored as the eighth place finisher.

De Ferran's second place finish moved him into the lead in championship points 347-337 over his teammate Helio Castroneves.

Sam Hornish's third place finish in tonight's race tightened the points battle at the front with Hornish trailing Castroneves by just four points.

"We were probably two, three miles an hour faster than everybody else," said Hornish. "We came from behind quite a few times, but we just didn't lead that last lap."

Richie Hearn finished a season best fourth. Raul Boesel was fifth, followed by Eddie Cheever, Felipe Giaffone, and Scott Sharp, who was dropped to eighth after his penalty. Helio Castroneves and Tony Renna rounded out the top-ten.

Notes from the Firestone Indy 200 at the Nashville Superspeedway:

Jeff Ward was moved to the back of the starting grid after he was forced to race in his backup car. Ward was involved in a single car incident during this morning's final practice session.

***

Actor turned race car driver Jason Priestley had a visitor in his pits from the hit television show 90210. Luke Perry, who co-starred with Priestley on the show, was an interested spectator during the Infiniti Pro Series race.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Felipe Giaffone , Eddie Cheever , Jeff Ward , Scott Sharp , Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Raul Boesel , Richie Hearn , Alex Barron , Dan Gurney , Tony Renna , Jason Priestley , Sam Hornis