KANSAS CITY, KANSAS (July 7, 2002) - Airton Dare won his first Indy Racing League event after passing Sam Hornish on a late race restart in the Ameristar Casino Indy 200 at the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway. Dare's win marks the first Indy car victory...
KANSAS CITY, KANSAS (July 7, 2002) - Airton Dare won his first Indy Racing League event after passing Sam Hornish on a late race restart in the Ameristar Casino Indy 200 at the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway. Dare's win marks the first Indy car victory for A.J. Foyt Racing since 1999 when Kenny Brack won the Indianapolis 500.
Foyt made two visits to victory lane at Kansas Speedway today as his grandson, A. J. Foyt IV, won the inaugural Infiniti Pro Series race, which was held prior to the start of the Ameristar Indy 200.
With less than ten laps to go in the Indy car race, Sam Hornish inherited the lead from Tomas Scheckter when the young South African driver hit the turn two wall. Scheckter led 101 of the 200 laps and had the race firmly in hand when his right rear tire deflated sending his Red Bull car into the wall.
"It's disappointing," Scheckter said. "We just can't seem to get a break. With ten laps to go I had low pressure in the right rear. It deflated and there was no way I could control the car."
Scheckter also set a new track record on lap 135 with an average speed of 220.226 mph.
Hornish led the field to the green for the restart but a miscommunication with his pit crew left him "a sitting duck" when the green was shown.
"I still had it in third gear," said Hornish. "I didn't know what was going on. I had to go back down to second (gear) and try to go."
Dare passed Hornish and went on to lead the final eight laps of the race.
Dare wasn't sure what happened to Hornish, but he was happy to capitalize on the miscue. "I'm not sure, it seems like he missed a gear or something, or he hit the revlimiter. That slowed him down a little bit and I made a move on him."
Helio Castroneves managed to hold on to his lead in the championship points battle with a third place finish. Castroneves now leads over his teammate Gil de Ferran 315-307. Hornish is third in points with 296.
"I have to be honest, we did not have the fastest car," said Castroneves. "But I'm very happy because of the points. That's the way you keep a lead in the championship, little by little. It doesn't matter if you win the championship by one point or twenty points."
Felipe Giaffone held off Castroneves' teammate Gil de Ferran to finish fourth. Giaffone used the low line to protect his position but that didn't stop de Ferran from trying to nose his car around the outside. Despite his best efforts, de Ferran finished fifth, 0.10 seconds behind Giaffone.
"The car was very good, especially in traffic," de Ferran said, "but we just didn't have the speed."
The Firestone Indy 200 at the Nashville (TN) Superspeedway, round ten of the15-race series, takes place on Saturday night, July 20. The race will be televised live on ESPN starting at 7:30 p.m. EDT.
Notes from the Ameristar Casino Indy 200 at the Kansas Speedway:
Al Unser Jr. fell out of the race with gearbox troubles on lap 189. He was then taken to the KU infield care center where he was treated for overheating. He was treated and released.
The average speed of today's race was 178.527 mph, the second fastest in Indy Racing League history. The fastest race was held at the California Speedway in March 2002 when the average speed was 179.345 mph.
Infiniti Pro Series driver Matthew Halliday was airlifted to KU MED Center in Kansas City, KS where he will be admitted overnight with a concussion. His CT scan was negative as were X-rays of his right ankle.