Dixon takes last-gasp Kentucky win

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Dixon takes last-gasp Kentucky win

Postby Pepper » Sun 10 Aug, 2008 6:15 pm

Scott Dixon passed Helio Castroneves in the final turn Saturday night to win the Meijer Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway and push himself even closer to the IndyCar Series championship.

But it wasn't without a strategic fight.

Dixon won as Castroneves lost fuel pressure in the final turn, ending his gamble to try to steal the race from far off the pace. Dixon's victory was his sixth of the season, tying a record set by Dan Wheldon in 2005, while Castroneves finished second for the seventh time this season, also an IndyCar Series record.

The win also padded Dixon's lead in the standings to 78 points with three races remaining.

"Obviously a 78-point lead is pretty healthy, but we're going to have to still try to gain points on Helio," Dixon said. "We need an 82-point lead to have it sewn up after (the next race at) Sonoma. That would be nice, but in all reality I think we'll be battling for the championship to the last race."

Dixon was forced to surrender the lead Saturday with seven laps remaining for a splash of fuel for the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda/Dallara, giving the lead to Castroneves, who had stopped to top off with 57 laps remaining, putting himself in position to steal the race with a fuel gamble.

Dixon came out of the pits 6 seconds behind Castroneves, but chased him down as Castroneves' No. 3 Team Penske Honda/Dallara lost fuel pressure between Turns 3 and 4 on the final lap.

"At that point, I saw the lights on the dash and they were all lit," Castroneves said. "The fuel meter was off a little bit, but it wasn't off so far that I expected to get to the finish line first.

Following Dixon and Castroneves to the finish line was Marco Andretti, who battled with Dixon for the lead through the second half of the race, and Vitor Meira, who also was in position to win for much of the 200-lap event. Andretti led 38 laps and pursued Dixon tenaciously after he moved into second place on the 98th lap.

"We've got to start capitalizing when we have cars that can win races," Andretti lamented. "Dixon had a bit of speed on us, but I think we had a better car in traffic. It was between him and I to win the race, and it's just unfortunate that we didn't."

Meira led five laps early in the race and remained in the hunt throughout the race, pulling into second place behind Andretti by passing Dixon with 33 laps remaining. When Andretti and Meira pitted for a splash with 12 laps left, Andretti emerged in front.

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/69739

Sarah Fisher finished 15th. Some good close racing for the lead throughout this race....


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Re: Dixon takes last-gasp Kentucky win

Postby The hairy Boots on » Sun 10 Aug, 2008 6:50 pm

I watched this race on 'leader-cam' (where they have the camera on the leader the entire time) on the Indy website, as it was the only coverage i could find. Both Miera and Andretti had the pace to win, but each time the Ganassi pit crew got Dixon ahead each time.

Castroneves was no where the entire race, and so they gambled on this strategy and it so almost worked, literally getting passed out of the final turn. Good race, though overtaking on ovals has got a lot harder in recent years.

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Re: Dixon takes last-gasp Kentucky win

Postby LadySnowcat » Sun 10 Aug, 2008 8:49 pm

It was on Sky and I caught up with it, along with the Olympics this morning....

NASCAR is on Live on Sky now....
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