Andretti Green Racing's Tony Kanaan won the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, but his victory was upstaged by a wild race-ending accident that knocked Dreyer & Reinbold's Buddy Rice, Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon and teammate Dario Franchitti out...
Andretti Green Racing's Tony Kanaan won the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, but his victory was upstaged by a wild race-ending accident that knocked Dreyer & Reinbold's Buddy Rice, Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon and teammate Dario Franchitti out of contention for the win.
Rice was clipped by Dixon on lap 87 as the pair ran second and third to Kanaan, sending both spinning. Franchitti collided with Dixon, then continued to finish sixth. As a result, he resumed the lead in the championship race by three points.
"It was a wild race," said Kanaan from the winner's podium. "I came around and saw Buddy (Rice) in the tires on one end, and Dario (Franchitti) and Scott (Dixon) run together on the other."
"It was crazy behind me, so I guess it was a good time to be out front."
AGR's Danica Patrick finished second, while Dan Wheldon persevered for a hard-earned third to end his weekend of trial.
"It was an up and down day," said Patrick, whose runner-up finish was a career best. "I knew I had to be smart and work the fuel strategy, and pass in the pits because it was very difficult to pass on the track."
"I wasn't the fastest car out there today," she said, "but I was fast enough."
Foyt Racing's Darren Manning was fourth, and Panther's Kosuke Matsuura came home fifth.
Dixon was awarded eighth place, one position behind Rice.
Vision's AJ Foyt and Ed Carpenter rounded out the top ten.
The finish stirred passions in the AGR pits. Michael Andretti proclaimed Dixon's move to collect Franchitti intentional.
Franchitti disagreed. "I don't think Scott would have (obstructed the track) intentionally," he said.
"I have utmost respect for Scott Dixon and for his team. He has raced me clean all year and I've raced him clean. My owner thinks differently though."
In the Ganassi stall, team boss Mike Hull defended Dixon's move around Rice as the latter ran out of fuel. The D&R crew confirmed Rice's fuel tank was empty afterwards.
Franchitti benefited substantially by leading the most laps in the race.
The additional three points granted gave him the edge over Dixon in the standings heading to the season-ending IndyCar race at Chicagoland one week hence.