Kanaan breaks Penske & Ganassi IndyCar Stranglehold
E.J. Viso finished an IZOD IndyCar Series-high third and Ryan Briscoe was fourth. Will Power, the pole sitter, finished fifth to regain the series championship points lead. Dario Franchitti, the leader entering the race, looked to be a contender until the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car sustained a gearbox issue with 50 laps remaining. He had taken the lead from Castroneves a lap earlier.
In winning Kanaan broke the stranglehold Penske Racing and Target Chip Ganassi Racing had on the IndyCar series. The only other non-Penske or Ganassi win was at Long Beach with Ryan Hunter-Reay.
Kanaan led 119 laps total the past two years at Iowa but didn't finish either race. He led 62 laps today and battled Dario Franchitti hard for the lead until a pit road wheel banging incident damaged Franchitti's car.
This is Tony Kanaan's first win of the season and the 14th of his IZOD IndyCar Series career. His last win was at Richmond in 2008.
The win was Kanaan's first of the season and the 14th of his IZOD IndyCar Series career. “I had a great car,” said the driver of the No. 11 Team 7-Eleven. “I have thank my teammates: Marco [Andretti] and Ryan [Hunter-Reay] came over after qualifying [15th when] I was very disappointed. I made a mistake during qualifying, and I was pretty down. They talked to me for 45 minutes and cheered me up. Marco gave me a little bit of his setup, and Ryan actually helped me with the setup, putting it together for today. It was a great job as a team, and it feels good."
E.J. Viso finished a career-best third. His previous best finish in the IZOD IndyCar Series was fourth at St. Petersburg in 2008. The third place finish for KV Racing Technology matches the team's previous best IZOD IndyCar Series finish. Driver Mario Moraes finished third for the team at Chicagoland in 2009.
Long-time leader Dario Franchitti was denied by late-race gearbox problems, while Scott Dixon and Will Power both faded after fighting for the lead. As they did, EJ Viso charged through to a career-best third - making up for KV Racing's disappointment when his team-mate Takuma Sato crashed out of the same spot.
Polesitter Power had led the early running for Penske under pressure from the battling Marco Andretti and Scott Dixon.
Power led until lap 33 when his handling went away and Marco Andretti who took up the lead, but 10 laps later his handling also went away and he fell back.
Then the Ganassi teammates took over and repeatedly swapped places through the next two pitstops.
Dixon survived a pitlane traffic jam that resulted in firm contact between him, Kanaan and Castroneves.
As the Ganassi drivers diced after a mid-race restart following a crash for Sarah Fisher, Andretti Autosport duo Kanaan and Ryan Hunter-Reay joined in and got between them, with Kanaan - up from 15th on the grid. Kanaan's battle with Franchitti was tense as they took turns in first as they sliced through traffic.
Behind them, Takuma Sato was fast and passed Hunter-Reay and Dixon in quick succession to take third. But no sooner did he get third did he understeer into the wall while lapping Alex Lloyd's Dale Coyne car. He blamed himself for inexperience on the ovals.
Everyone made their final pitstops under the next yellow, and Kanaan lost ground when Hunter-Reay clipped his left front, and he fell to third. The usual fast Penske pit work got Castroneves up to second behind Franchitti - which became the lead when Franchitti's gearbox went south 43 laps from the end.
That set up a final shoot-out between Castroneves and Kanaan. With 10 laps to go Kanaan made a run on Castroneves and slipped through on the inside and then pulled away to win.
Castroneves held on to second ahead of EJ Viso.
The 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season continues July 4 with the Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen at Watkins Glen International. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 3:30 p.m. (ET) by ABC.
DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing): "I was leading at the time and the gearbox went. I was shifting from sixth down to fifth and came up with a box full of neutrals. We had a winning car today, but it wasn't anybody's fault. The Target team did a great job today. These things just happen."
TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Team 7-Eleven, winner Iowa Corn Indy 250): "I have to thank my team and the entire 7-Eleven crew. They did a great job. I had a great car. I have thank my teammates. Marco (Andretti) and Ryan (Hunter-Reay) came over after qualifying. I was very disappointed. I made a mistake during qualifying and I was pretty down. They talked to me for 45 minutes and cheered me up. Marco gave me a little bit of his setup and Ryan actually helped me with the setup, putting it together for today. It was a great job as a team and it feels good."
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Team Penske, finished second): "Team Penske did a great job. We finished fourth and fifth as well so all of our cars were in the front. Somehow the No. 3 car was always wearing out the left front. When I needed it the most, unfortunately it wasn't there. I'm not sure. Maybe that bump between Tony (Kanaan) and Scott (Dixon) might have caused something because it was very hard to set up the car during the race. I should be happy but with ten laps to go, it slipped right through my hands. We had great pit stops. The team did an incredible job. Tony did seem to have a better car. He could run everywhere but more consistent. It's a shame for us today, but for the championship it is very good.
E.J. VISO (No. 8 PDVSA-Jet Aviation-KV Racing Technology, finished third): "It's been a very tough year for the team. We all knew that we could get there. We have some very good people on the team and good drivers. We finished in the position we deserved to have. I hope this is the start of good things to come for the rest of the season."
RYAN BRISCOE (No. 6 Team Penske, finished fourth): "I'm so happy with this fourth place finish today. I was scared. That first stint, the car was very loose. I think the change with the wind direction today, it really (inaudible) my car in Turn 1 with the bump. I was in a lot of trouble, so come in fourth today is a great effort by Team Penske. We made a few changes during the pit stops and they gave me positions on the yellow stops. That was really good."
RAPHAEL MATOS (No. 2 HP de Ferran Dragon Racing): "I had an OK race. The car ran well most of the race. We collected points, which is important. There is still a lot of the season to go. We had a mechanical issue during an early pit stop that hurt us a bit, but it was a good race overall. The change we made to the car yesterday after qualifying really helped and we moved in the right direction. We are continuing to understand the data and improve the car, which is important for the future."
SIMONA DE SILVESTRO (No. 78 Team Stargate Worlds/HVM): "We were really struggling for the last 20 laps. It was really hard to drive over the bump in Turn 2. I don't know what happened. We were OK at the beginning of the race. We had a mishap in the pits and we ran the tires down a lot. I'm sure we can learn a lot from this weekend. We have a lot of work ahead of us."
VITOR MEIRA (No. 14 ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt Racing): "It was a good result. What matters is that we're improving and being consistent everywhere we go. We've had top 10s and the next stage is top fives. It's hard in this series, but the ABC Supply team is moving forward and that's important."
WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske): "We were just a little bit too loose. I had a couple of big moments. I worked with the stuff in the cockpit, and it wasn't bad at the end. It was pretty good. I should have gone the high side on those backmarkers. This track is so setup dependent. If you have a bad setup you're going backwards, so you have to nail it.
SARAH FISHER (No. 67 Dollar General/Sarah Fisher Racing): "It was a racing accident. There's just not a whole lot of room, so when you go into a corner two-wide and there's a lack of grace, it makes it tough to go in the top. The marbles are bad here anyway. I almost had it but I got in the marbles after running a little high."
TAKUMA SATO (No. 5 Lotus-KV Racing Technology): "I was just lapping traffic when I was looked inside and a car chopped into me. I was trying to be careful but I was too wide and went into the wall. I'm really disappointed. I feel very sorry for the team. They did a tremendous job over the weekend. Every pit stop was great. We worked on the car during every pit stop, trying different set ups to match the environment we have today. We were gradually gaining positions. I'm just disappointed finishing like this."
HIDEKI MUTOH (No. 06 Formula Dream/Panasonic): "The car was reasonable at the beginning of the race. I was off the pace a little bit but we were working with the car. Once everyone got up to speed it was difficult to stay with them though. The guys did a fantastic job overnight and every day. I'm disappointed with myself because I think I could have done better. We're going to work hard to figure this out for the next round of oval races."
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing): "I think we did alright today but we weren't able to maximize points. After 40 laps we saw a lot of tire wear for some reason and I just got a ton of understeer. It was a shame but we managed to stay in the points mix."
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