Destruction Derby On The Bullring At Richmond :: The EDJE
Kanaan kept the Honda-powered Dallara clear of multiple mishaps to claim his first victory since Belle Isle last September and his first on an oval since Kentucky in August. He held off Team Penske's Helio Castroneves, who advanced 16 positions through a combination of furious driving and attrition for his fourth second place of the season, in the SunTrust Indy Challenge. Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon overtook teammate Dan Wheldon on the final lap for third. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2008)
Destruction Derby On The Bullring At Richmond
Tony Kanaan knew it would be tough to win on the Richmond International Raceway with 26 starters - half of whom were making their first appearance on the 0.75-mile oval. But this tough?
The race in Richmond was, let’s be honest … a destruction derby. The race felt as though it would run a couple of laps and have to go to yellow flag conditions (105 laps of the 300 run) to clear up yet, another car getting light in the rear (I believe the term Jaime Camara used was “neutral”), swing around, and hit the SAFER barrier.
The Fine Nine (the drivers fielded by teams transitioning into the IRL from the CCWS) did not do fine here in Richmond. The ones who finished, did well … but the rest of the T-Team field checked out early and/or often.
The three drivers who did finish the race all finished in the top ten with Oriol Servia of KV Racing Technology posting a personal best fifth out of twenty-six cars who were entered in the race.
The Fine Nine drivers checked out in the following order on this, the shortest oval the IRL competes on all season.
OUT - POS./Qual./Car# - Driver - Hometown - Car - Name – Entrant
Lap 6 - 25/26/36 - Enrique Bernoldi - Curitiba, Brazil - Sangari - Conquest Racing
Lap 8 - 24/16/8 - Will Power - Toowoomba, Australia - Aussie Vineyards-Team Australia - KV Racing Technology
Lap 78 - 23/9/18 Bruno Junqueira Belo Horizonte, Brazil Z-Line Designs Dale Coyne Racing
Lap 131 - 18/10/16/06 - Graham Rahal - Columbus, Ohio - Hole in the Wall Camps - Newman Haas Lanigan Racing
Lap 143 - 17/19/24/19 - Mario Moraes - Sao Paulo, Brazil - Sonny's Bar-B-Q - Dale Coyne Racing
Lap 217 - 14/20/21/34 - Jaime Camara - Goiania, Brazil – Sangari - Conquest Racing
In the final laps, only twelve of the 26 cars were running on the track. As far as Rookie Of The Year honors race is concerned, Heideki Mutoh of Andretti Green Racing (out on lap 220 and finished in position 13) still leads in the points but lost a little ground back to Servia, Justin Wilson of Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing (position 7) and EJ Viso of HVM Racing (position 10).
This excerpted and edited from Indycar.com -
By Dave Lewandowski - indycar.com
Kanaan kept the No. 11 7-Eleven car clear of multiple potential mishaps to claim his first victory since Belle Isle last September and his first on an oval since Kentucky in August. The pole sitter held off Team Penske's Helio Castroneves, who advanced 16 positions through furious driving and attrition for his fourth second place of the season.
Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon overtook teammate Dan Wheldon on the final laps for third and score valuable championship points. KV Racing Technology's Oriol Servia finished a career-best fifth on an oval.
"It was a tough night," said Dixon, who takes a 43-point lead over Castroneves into the race at Watkins Glen International on July 6. "TK definitely looked pretty strong tonight."
Wheldon is third in the standings (299 points) and Kanaan (269) is fourth.
The 300-lap race (lengthened 50 laps from '07) under the lights was marred by 105 caution laps. The IndyCar Series record is 116 at Nazareth Speedway in 2002.
Andretti Green Racing's Danica Patrick finished sixth and Justin Wilson moved up 16 spots to seventh (tying his career best on an oval). Townsend Bell in the No. 23 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing car finished eighth and Marco Andretti was ninth. Andretti completed 135 laps (many under caution) on one 22-gallon load of ethanol.
"What a crazy race," said Wilson, who started 23rd. "There was some really good driving and some really bad driving out there. I was just trying not to get caught out and stay out of trouble and bring the car home. The McDonald's car wasn't the quickest car out there today but we managed to salvage some good points and hopefully that will help us out in the championship."
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Finally, next week the former ChampCar teams get some meat to chew on and they will be at full strength. Pacific Coast Motorsports will be re-joining the competition for the rest of the season. Mario Donimguez driving the Visit Mexico City Dallara will be backed by a group of PCM team members that have experience racing at Watkins Glen.
This, from a recent press release; Veterans of Champ Car and Sports Cars, PCM looks forward to their return to road courses. The historic Watkins Glen track is familiar to PCM; they raced there while competing in the Rolex Grand Am Series in 2006.
Next weekend, the T-Team Ten will be looking to score points and show that they are the measure of any driver/team combination competing in the ICS in 2008.
… notes from The EDJE