FOUNTAIN, Colo. (June 15, 2003) -- Scott Dixon became the first repeat winner in the Indy Racing League this season after winning the Honda Indy 225 on the one- mile Pikes Peak International Raceway. Dixon took the lead with 84 laps remaining...
FOUNTAIN, Colo. (June 15, 2003) -- Scott Dixon became the first repeat winner in the Indy Racing League this season after winning the Honda Indy 225 on the one- mile Pikes Peak International Raceway.
Dixon took the lead with 84 laps remaining and held off Tony Kanaan by slicing through heavy traffic to take his second career victory.
Tony Kanaan, who finished second, maintained his streak of leading at least one lap in every race this season after he started from the pole position and led the first tour of the oval.
"The best thing I can do on days like this is take the highest position I can and today that was second," said Kanaan, who leads the championship standings by 49 points over Dixon.
On the second lap, Castroneves assumed the point and spent the next 45 laps racing nose to tail and side by side with his teammate Gil de Ferran.
De Ferran, who led the race twice, became the third driver to lead when he passed Castroneves on lap 48. De Ferran also led late in the race but his car was no match for the Toyota-powered Panoz G Force of Dixon. As each run progressed, de Ferran's car became more difficult to drive while Dixon's became stronger.
"As we wore on, as the stint wore on, Dixon got a little bit stronger and I got progressively weaker," De Ferran said.
After fading to third late in the race, de Ferran lost another position in the pits on lap 166, when all of the frontrunners stopped for service under yellow. Franchitti moved into third when his crew short filled the car with fuel.
Franchitti lined up in third when a caution period for a spin by his teammate Dan Wheldon set up a final restart.
With de Ferran tucked under his gearbox, Franchitti faced several lapped cars separating him from Tony Kanaan in second. Franchitti went high on the restart and was balked by traffic allowing de Ferran to make his move down low.
"We were ahead of de Ferran on the last restart, and then we were blocked by some lapped cars," Franchitti said. "We ran side by side into turn one, and he pretty much ran me up into the gray. That is how I lost third place"
De Ferran was third with Franchitti fourth when a single car accident involving Roger Yasukawa forced IRL officials to end the race under caution. "The rear wing suddenly fell off," said Yasukawa after he was examined and released from the infield care center. "I lost all grip on the straight and hit the wall."
Sam Hornish finished fifth after mounting the most impressive drive of the day. Hornish ran out of fuel as he entered turn one on lap 81. He managed to coast around to his pits, but lost a full lap by the time he rejoined the fray. "We put an engine in this morning, and they were having a hard time figuring out what was wrong because the fuel tank said one thing and the car's computer said another as far as how much fuel we were using. We were going to pit at 33 gallons and it ran out at 29.5."
Undaunted, Hornish drove through the field and passed the leader. A late race caution moved him to the tail of the lead lap, where he once again resumed his mission.
"Today was a really good day," said Hornish. "We did what we knew what we had to do. We should have been up a little higher today, but it was the best finish of the year, so I guess we can't be too mad about that."
The IndyCar Series moves to Richmond International Raceway for a race under the lights on Saturday, June 28.