|The Target Chip Ganassi cars started from pole and dominated the entire weekend|
|Chris Jones/ IRL|
Dan Wheldon became the first repeat IndyCar Series winner at Kansas Speedway in eight races, winning the Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 by 2.1778 seconds over Tony Kanaan.
Wheldon, driving the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car, last won on the 1.52-mile oval. Wheldon inherited the lead on Lap 152 when teammate Scott Dixon pitted and held through a Lap 172 restart.
Dixon finished third and series points leader Helio Castroneves fourth. Marco Andretti was fifth and rookie teammate Hideki Mutoh sixth. Danica Patrick, who last week became the first female to win a major closed-course auto race, started third and was among the leaders early. But a mechanical failure on the right-rear wheel hub on Lap 156 ended her day.
Wheldon’s teammate Scott Dixon dominated the race, leading 145 laps, but Dixon, the 2003 Kansas winner, went in for a final pit stop two laps before a yellow flag came out. Dixon shuffled back to seventh but only had time to climb back to third in the final 28 laps.
Andretti Green Racing’s Tony Kanaan finished second, his best finish of the season.
Helio Castroneves finished fourth and retains the series points lead heading into the Indianapolis 500.
Danica Patrick, who recorded her first career victory one week ago, was seventh when she went in for her final pit stop, however a bent wheel ended her race. She was 19th.
The 2008 IndyCar Series season continues with the 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 25 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at noon (EDT) by ABC. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network. A Spanish-language telecast of the race will be carried by ESPNDeportes. The IMS Radio Network broadcast also is carried on XM Satellite Radio and www.indycar.com. The 2008 Firestone Indy Lights season continues May 23 at Indianapolis. The Kansas Lottery 100 will be telecast at 2 p.m. (EDT) on May 1 by ESPN2.
DAN WHELDON (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing, finished first): (About staying out longer than Dixon): "I think to be honest, I was able to sit behind and save a bit more fuel. He was doing everything he could. We were running the same fuel position, and I could hear him lifting. When you're behind a car, you can save a little bit more and that might have made the difference.”
TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Team 7-Eleven, finished second): “If you watched the last 30 laps of the race, you could see I was just trying to catch (Dan Wheldon). I definitely didn't have anything for him. Second place is pretty good, especially before Indy. We can carry the momentum into the month. It's a good finish, let's see what happens.”
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing, finished third): “That's two weeks in a row. I don't know what we're trying to do on the 9 car side. We definitely lost the race ourselves. It's just something we have to work on. At least a Target car won this weekend. Congrats to Dan (Wheldon). He was just sitting back smartly and saving a bit of fuel. It's something we need to work on strategy-wise. We came away with good points and are still in the championship and that's what counts.”
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Team Penske, finished fourth): “The Team Penske car was solid today. We had made some changes between qualifying and the race, and they seemed to make us a little bit quicker. However, during the middle part of our runs, we weren’t able to keep up with the leaders. Thankfully, we were able to stay out of trouble and bring home a fourth-place finish, which keeps us in the championship lead heading into Indy. We’ve ran consistently well the first part of the season, and I have no doubt that the team will continue to give me the car I need to go for my third Indianapolis 500 win next month.”
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 Forsythe, finished fifth): “It was a struggle today. It is these kinds of days that you have to fight through that will really help you in the championship. The car balance wasn’t the best, but we can’t complain about fifth place. I think Helio (Castroneves) has a little more experience than I do in close finishes, so he may have been hiding a little bit of speed in the closing laps. He turned it on and ended up getting me at the line. It would have been nice to put the Forsythe car in fourth but from what we were dealing with, I’m happy with fifth.”
HIDEKI MUTOH (No. 27 Formula Dream, finished sixth): “A sixth-place finish is the best result for me on an oval race track. Considering the fact I started from the 13th position, I am happy with the result. The Formula Dream crew gave me a very good car, so I was able to race hard against the Penske cars at the end. That was an exciting finish. I think our strategy was perfect for today’s race, and I learned so much.”
RYAN BRISCOE (No. 6 Team Penske, finished seventh): “I thought today was a good race for Team Penske. We had a solid car and I'm fairly happy with our result. The final laps were a little frustrating, because I think I had better than a seventh place car. I was just trying to play it safe, looking for a solid finish. I thought it was a good day for me and I feel like I learned a lot out there.”
A.J. FOYT IV (No. 2 Vision Racing, finished eighth): “I had a good car today so I have to thank my guys for that and for the great pit stops. I wish we could have had a better result today, but we got caught in the pits when a caution came out and that hurt us. I am glad that the race was clean for us, but I wish we could have come out of here with a better result after starting up where we did.”
JUSTIN WILSON (No. 02 McDonald’s Racing Team, finished ninth): “The McDonald’s car was great in traffic and when I was in a draft. It was great to be able to keep up and start to race people. I was enjoying myself and having fun. As soon as we lost the draft, we struggled to keep up with the pace. That’s the part where these other teams have had years of experience on us so hopefully we will work that out over the next couple of weeks and close some of that gap. Generally I am just very pleased with how the McDonald’s car ran and feel like we are starting to be able to race well. We just need to work on some little things. We learned a little bit by leading the race and running in the front pack.”
ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Menards/Vision Racing, finished 10th): “I had a great car today and was in fourth and could have challenged for a podium spot, but E.J. Viso ruined our chances of that. I came into the pits and he was trying to pit in my pit box and that's just unacceptable. It's a shame that our fate came down to his mistake. If there's something we can take away from the race at this point it's that we have a great car and we can run with the leaders. We just have to put all of this other stuff behind us and focus on getting our cars ready for Indy and having a great month of May.”
DANICA PATRICK (No. 7 Motorola): “We had understeer in the beginning and that made me drop back, but I was climbing back up again. I could see the leaders. A yellow and a good restart and we're back in it. That last run - I went high in (Turns) 1 and 2 because Marco (Andretti) was in the middle and I didn't know how many people were underneath me in the middle of the corner. I got caught up in the grey and I was out of the throttle for an eternity and lost a whole straightaway. That was disappointing. I got back going and I was, 'This is exciting rear-end stuff going on here.' It felt like something was wrong at some point with the left front and that's kinds of, I don't know when it started. Definitely the loose feeling I was having that last stint was probably the rear tire moving when I got in the corner." (About close racing with Tomas Scheckter and E.J. Viso): "I always expect Scheckter to drive like that. And that Viso, I don't know who he is even. He's new and he's got a pretty fast car. He's learning the ropes of this oval racing. He almost put me in the wall at one point. I was like, ‘Look dude, you're new. You better be nice because we all know how to handle this a little better than you do at this point.’ It's all right. You got some newcomers and they're going to be trying to push it. They're not going to know how. They're not going to know what they can and can't do. There's a lot of etiquette to learn in oval racing. It takes a little time. Yeah, there was close racing out there, but didn't end up racing close at the end.”
||A.J. Foyt IV
Winner's average speed: 161.774 mph
Time of race: 1:52:44.9806
Margin of victory: 2.1778 seconds
Cautions: 4 caution flags for 41 laps
Lead changes: 5 among 4 drivers
Lap leaders: Dixon 1-26, Wilson 27-31, Dixon 32-77,
Castroneves 78, Dixon 79-151, Wheldon 152-200.
Point standings: Castroneves 144, Dixon 138, Wheldon 135,
Kanaan 129, Patrick 110, Power 97, Andretti 95, Servia 93,
Carpenter 90, Rahal 88.