Andretti Green Racing’s Tony Kanaan dominated the Miejer Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway Saturday night, scoring his second consecutive IndyCar Series race win and a league-leading fourth victory of 2007 to move into title contention with three races remaining.
Starting second, Kanaan traded the early lead with teammate and championship leader Dario Franchitti for the first half of the 200-lap contest, then out raced Scott Dixon and A.J. Foyt IV to post his 11th career IndyCar victory.
Franchitti saw his once substantial championship lead cut to just eight points by a trio of incidents. After running battling Dixon for second place for more than 30 laps, Franchitti slid high in Turn Four on Lap 166, dropping him to sixth as he slowed to regain control. The second took place during the final round of pit stops on Lap 178. Attempting to gain time on his pit entry, Franchitti slid wide and struck the pit lane speed limit marker, damaging his right front wing. The resulting repairs dropped him to eighth on the restart.
Then, at the checkers and unaware the race had just ended, Franchitti struck the slowing car of Kosuke Matsuura and for the second consecutive race weekend flipped wildly in the air, landing upright after contacting the Turn One wall. Both drivers escaped injury in the spectacular crash.
The finish line drama overshadowed Dixon’s second place finish, his 11th top-four finish in 14 races as the Target Chip Ganassi driver has now almost completely closed the championship points gap to Franchitti with just three races remaining. In addition Vision Racing’s A.J. Foyt IV had his career best IndyCar result with a third-place finish, leading three times for a total of 13 laps, his first laps led this season.
Marco Andretti’s fourth place was another strong finish, his fifth top five in the last seven races, as the sophomore IndyCar continues to rebound after a tough start to 2007. Tomas Scheckter rounded out the top five in his Vision Racing Honda, equaling his best finish this year, followed by Rahal Letterman Racing’s Scott Sharp in sixth and Ed Carpenter finishing seventh, putting all three Vision Racing cars in the top seven.
After a one-week break, the 2007 IndyCar Series concludes with three consecutive race weekends, starting August 26 with the Infineon Indy Grand Prix at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California.