DIXON WINS ABC SUPPLY/A.J. FOYT 225; TAKES POINTS LEAD WEST ALLIS, WIS. (Sunday, May 31, 2009) - Reigning IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon became the first driver to win for the second time in 2009, taking the checkered flag in the ABC ...
DIXON WINS ABC SUPPLY/A.J. FOYT 225; TAKES POINTS LEAD
WEST ALLIS, WIS. (Sunday, May 31, 2009) - Reigning IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon became the first driver to win for the second time in 2009, taking the checkered flag in the ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt 225 at The Milwaukee Mile ahead of 2008 race winner Ryan Briscoe.
In doing so, Dixon took over the points lead for the first time since the end of the 2008 season.
Briscoe dominated the race, leading 154 laps after passing Tony Kanaan on Lap 26. But Briscoe got caught up in lapped traffic on the tight circuit, and Dixon seized the opportunity, passing for the lead on Lap 201 of the 225-lap event.
"I was trying to get the flow of traffic the whole day," said Dixon, who won earlier this season on the 1.5-mile oval at Kansas Speedway. "I definitely think from the start our car was better. We could run quick times when we needed to, and we were good in traffic. We had many runs on (Ryan) Briscoe, and he kind of blocked a lot and that was kind of frustrating early on, but he definitely got caught up there with (Tomas) Scheckter trying to take him on the bottom, and I got a great run on the high side and it just lined up perfect."
Dixon holds a four-point advantage over Briscoe and Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Dario Franchitti. Graham Rahal finished fourth, and Danica Patrick finished fifth, her fourth consecutive top-five finish. Rookie Raphael Matos earned a career-best sixth-place finish.
Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves finished 11th after starting 20th.
Briscoe, Dixon, Franchitti and Castroneves won the first four events of the season.
Not every ball would have split the uprights, but that was Mason Crosby's aim during pre-race of the ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt 225 at The Milwaukee Mile.
The Green Bay Packers' place-kicker sent three autographed NFL footballs into the frontstretch grandstands from pit lane. With a 10 mph breeze at his back, Crosby - out of the hold of punter Jeremy Kapinos, who used a water bottle cap as a tee - sent one ball each to the left, right and center of an imaginary goalpost.
"I didn't want to put all of them in one spot; let the fans have a souvenir," Crosby said. "I guess all this race adrenaline got me going. I wasn't that loose but really sent them out there."
Crosby, entering his third NFL season with the Packers out of Colorado, was soaking up the atmosphere at The Mile. Accompanied by Kapinos and offensive tackle Daryn Colledge, they met Packers greats Gilbert Brown and Antonio Freeman on pit lane before watching the race.
"It's exciting down here," Crosby said. "I've never been to an IndyCar (Series) race, and to hear the cars (warming up on pit lane) and to see how the crowd is into it, I'm really jacked up. It's a cool opportunity."
INDYCAR SERIES POST-RACE NOTES:
* Scott Dixon earns his second victory of the season and his 18th career IndyCar Series victory. He also won at Kansas this season.
* Dixon is the first driver to win for the second time in 2009.
* Dixon ranks second all-time with 18 victories. With one more victory, he will time Sam Hornish Jr. for the most in IndyCar Series history.
* Dixon takes over the points lead. He holds a four-point advantage over Ryan Briscoe and Dario Franchitti. This is the first time he has been in the points lead since the end of last season.
* This is the 26th IndyCar Series victory for Target Chip Ganassi Racing, third all-time.
* Ryan Briscoe finished second, his third top-five finish of the season.
* Briscoe earned three bonus points for winning the pole (1) and leading the most laps (2). He has led laps in four races this season, more than any other driver.
* Dario Franchitti finished third, his third top-five finish of the season.
* Graham Rahal finished fourth, his first top-five finish since his victory at St. Petersburg last season.
* Danica Patrick finished fifth, her fourth consecutive top-five finish. She is the only driver with four top-five finishes this season.
* Patrick has four consecutive top-10 finishes at Milwaukee.
* Raphael Matos finished a career-best sixth. His previous best was eighth at St. Petersburg.
* Marco Andretti finished seventh, his third top-10 finish of the season.
* Hideki Mutoh finished eighth, his third consecutive top-10 finish.
* Mario Moraes finished ninth, his first top-10 finish of the season.
* Dan Wheldon finished 10th, his fourth consecutive top-10 finish. Wheldon has five consecutive top-10 finishes at Milwaukee.
* Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves finished 11th.
* Tony Kanaan finished 19th, the first time he has finished outside the top four in six races at Milwaukee.
INDYCAR SERIES POST-RACE QUOTES:
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing, first): "I was trying to get the flow of traffic the whole day. I definitely think from the start our car was better. We could run quick times when we needed to, and we were good in traffic. We had many runs on (Ryan) Briscoe, and he kind of blocked a lot and that was kind of frustrating early on, but he definitely got caught up there with (Tomas) Scheckter trying to take him on the bottom, and I got a great run on the high side and it just lined up perfect. That's the struggle at this track - getting through the traffic."
RYAN BRISCOE (No. 6 Team Penske, second): "It was a great race. Scott (Dixon) was just a little bit better than me at the end there. He got me in traffic. I was struggling with a little bit of understeer, and whenever I'd get on the inside I'd really lose my momentum. Great job by Scott. He was there all day long and took the opportunity to pass me when I got slowed up. It was a great effort by Team Penske today. My pit stops were awesome. I don't think I've lost a spot this year in the pits yet, so it's a great credit to Team Penske."
DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 10 TOM TOM, third): "The hard thing was lapped cars. It was traffic, it was timing your passes right. My guys did a great job and got me out in the lead on the green flag (pit) stop. Then I just mistimed a pass, someone took my air off and that was it - back to third again. I really tried hard to pass (Ryan) Briscoe at the end, but again, when he was taking my air there was nothing I can do. It was a tough day. The Milwaukee Mile produces close racing and you're really fighting that lapped traffic all day."
GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 02 McDonald's Racing Team, fourth): "It was good to bring the McDonald's car home. Obviously, that was the goal. We finished fourth, and we're really happy with that, but we're obviously still disappointed because we thought the McDonald's car was the one to beat this weekend. When you're so close, it's disappointing not to do it. On the last restart, we had five lapped cars between us, and that's really the decider because it's hard to get around them. By the time we got around them, we were seven seconds behind the lead pack. We had a good pace and we made up some of that, but you're not going to be able to make up all of that being a tenth-of-a-second faster a lap. I think we absolutely had the car to challenge the best today. We had a killer vibration at the end that hurt us a little bit, but we caught those guys - of course they were in traffic some, too. Even the last couple of clear laps, we were still quicker than them. We definitely had the pace. I don't think there was anyone quicker than we were. At the start, I was being super patient and super cautious, and of course that's when those guys got by me. And after that we held our own. I can think of three or four opportunities I had to go underneath (Ryan) Briscoe and Dixie (Scott Dixon) and Dario (Franchitti), and I lifted every time just because it was early (in the race). I didn't foresee that with six laps to go there was going to be so many lapped cars between us."
DANICA PATRICK (No. 7 Boost Mobile/Motorola, fifth): "It was pretty consistent over the run. I think everybody went off to some degree out there, but I don't think we went off as much as most. So many times you go, 'OK, this is the last stop. We're going to get out and just blister it the whole way.' But I figured there was a full stint left, so I have to take care of the car. I just took it easy. I knew I wasn't over-hustling the car at the beginning, and I could see some other cars were definitely pushing it. So I thought this was going to come to me a little bit, and it did."
RAPHAEL MATOS (No. 2 US Marines Luczo Dragon Racing, sixth): "It was a very important result for us. At Indianapolis, we had a really good run and we crashed at the end. The whole team worked really hard putting the car back together. I have to give all the credit to my team. The Luczo Dragon crew did an amazing job all month long - Indy and here at Milwaukee. I had a car that ran flawless all weekend long. I want to dedicate this result to all the servicemen and women, especially the ones from the Marines and the Air Force. They fight for our freedom and our safety, and I'm very proud to carry their logo on my car."
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 Team Venom Energy, seventh): "The No. 26 car was strong today, and it's a shame we weren't able to show it with a higher finish. We got caught up in some traffic near the end and were boxed in. I definitely think we were capable of a top-five finish. The Venom boys did a great job all day, and I'm looking forward to Texas next weekend."
HIDEKI MUTOH (No. 27 Formula Dream, eighth): "It's a good result for the Formula Dream crew, and we scored some points for the championship. The car felt good, and everyone is working really hard, it's just that we need some luck on the track and in the pits. I'm excited for Texas and hope we have a great race next weekend."
MARIO MORAES (No. 5 KV Racing Technology/Votorantim, ninth): "My first two stints of the race, the KV Racing Technology car went loose and I found it hard to run behind the other cars. The KVRT pit crew did a great job making changes during the pit stops, but I still had some trouble running in traffic. Overall, the race went pretty well. This is my best finish on an oval, and I want to thank my entire crew for all their hard work."
The 2009 IndyCar Series season continues June 6 with the Bombardier Learjet 550k at Texas Motor Speedway. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 9 p.m. (EDT) by VERSUS. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network, XM channel 145 and Sirius channel 211. The radio broadcast also will be carried on www.indycar.com. The 2009 Firestone Indy Lights season continues with the Iowa 100 on June 20 at Iowa Speedway. The race will be telecast at 4 p.m. on June 22 by VERSUS. The Husar's House of Fine Diamonds 100 will be telecast at 4 p.m. on June 1 by VERSUS.