No. 959
August 15, 2018
 

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Horizon


Tuesday
Jul082008

Horizon #453

July 9, 2008

arrowup.gifRyan Hunter-Reay, Rahal Letterman Racing. It wasn't the shootout at the end that everyone expected, but the finish of the Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen was just fine for Ryan Hunter-Reay (No. 17 Rahal Letterman Racing Team Ethanol Dallara/Honda/Firestone), who claimed his first IndyCar Series victory last Sunday beating Darren Manning (No. 14 ABC Supply/AJ Foyt Racing D/H/F) to the line by 2.4009 seconds. Hunter-Reay passed Manning on Lap 52 and led the final nine laps after a rare mistake by Scott Dixon (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing D/H/F) took the Kiwi and rival Ryan Briscoe (No. 6 Team Penske D/H/F) out of contention. The victory was the first for Rahal Letterman Racing since 2004. Hunter-Reay has been running strong all year, so it was good to see him get his first win in the IRL. He previously won while driving in Champ Car at Surfers Paradise in 2003 and Milwaukee in 2004. Manning’s second-place finish was his team’s best since Airton Dare won at Kansas in 2002. Tony Kanaan (No. 11 Andretti Green Racing Team 7-Eleven D/H/F) finished third, recovering from a crash during the morning warm-up (and a painful cracked wrist), and Buddy Rice (No. 15 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing D/H/F) was fourth. Briscoe, who led a race-high 37 laps, ended up finishing 12th, just behind Dixon in 11th. Next up is the Firestone Indy 200, Saturday, July 12 (8 p.m. EDT) at the Nashville Superspeedway, live on ESPN.

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(Ron McQueeney/IRL)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates his first IRL victory at The Glen, and the first IRL victory for Rahal Letterman Racing since 2004.

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(Ron McQueeney/IRL)
Raphael Matos (above) and Richard Antinucci won the Corning Duels Firestone Indy Lights races on Saturday, July 5 at The Glen – the first time the series has held two races on the same day. Matos won Race 1 by 2.1290 seconds over Antinucci, passing pole sitter Franck Perera on Lap 3 and leading the final 26 laps. Antinucci came back to win Race 2 after starting from the fifth position. He passed teammate Ana Beatriz on Lap 10 and led the final 20 laps. The two podium finishes for Antinucci vaulted him into first place in the point standings, while Matos, who finished second in Race 2, moved into second. Dillon Battistini, who entered the weekend as the points leader, finished 17th and 20th and dropped to third in points.

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(Chris Jones/IRL)
Richard Antinucci won the second of the two Corning Duels Firestone Indy Lights races, and he moved into first place in the point standings.

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(Chris Jones/IRL)
Brazilian Ana Beatriz continues to impress in the Firestone Indy Lights series. She finished third in Race 2 at The Glen.

Publisher's Note: For a preview of this weekend's upcoming American Le Mans Series race at Lime Rock Park from Trackbytes, click . The short and bumpy circuit has received a significant facelift in time for Saturday’s two-hour-and-45-minute race. A brand-new “Optional” circuit layout has also been constructed, part of a $5 million dollar upgrade and repaving project that got underway just last month. The 31-day overhaul of the facility was christened on the 4th of July by racing legend Sam Posey, who took to the new layout in his vintage Formula Ford. - PMD

arrowup.gifRyan Hunter-Reay. Timing is everything, it seems. IZOD is celebrating its new affiliation as the official apparel company of the IndyCar Series by debuting a 60' x 80' billboard of Ryan Hunter-Reay above Times Square in New York this week. The billboard, located at 42nd Street and Broadway, stands above the ESPNZone and features the July IndyCar Series schedule with television tune-in information. The billboard will remain up throughout the month of July.

arrowup.gifPortland Race (and beer) fans. Portland International Raceway (PIR) and Mazda North America decided three days of racing wasn't enough to celebrate the event's 25th Anniversary party (even though Champ Car  won't be there), so this year the Mazda Grand Prix of Portland will showcase a Star Mazda presented by Goodyear doubleheader, the Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup. The Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup series also makes its debut in the Northwest, and then there's a bicycle race, stock car race, drag racing and motocross. There's also a cruise-in, drifting and a time attack. Plus, they're adding a trackside extension of the Oregon Brewers Festival! Check it out at Portland International Raceway, July 22 - 27.

arrowup.gifScott Pruett, Memo Rojas, Ganassi Racing. Scott Pruett (No. 01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Lexus Riley) beat Alex Gurney (No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac Riley) in a sprint to the checkered flag by 0.081 seconds to win last Thursday night's Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona International Speedway. It was the closest finish in the history of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16. It was also the fifth victory of 2008 for Pruett and co-driver Memo Rojas. Pruett and Rojas extended their Daytona Prototype championship lead to 40 points after their seventh podium finish of the season. "I had just enough to get by Alex at the start/finish line," said Pruett, who extended his Rolex Series record to 19 victories. Gurney (and co-driver Jon Fogarty) were gunning for their second consecutive win when Gurney passed Pruett for the lead with 22 laps remaining, and led up until the final 100 yards of the race. Ricardo Zonta and Nic Jonsson finished third in the No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Lola.

arrowup.gifLewis Hamilton. He shuts up the incessant whiners in the British media with a brilliant drive in his McLaren-Mercedes - in the rain - to win the British Grand Prix.

arrowup.gifTony Stewart. As has been long-rumored for months now, Tony Stewart will be released one year early from his contract and leave Joe Gibbs Racing at the end of the season to align with Haas-CNC Racing, taking a 50 percent interest in the team and reuniting with Chevrolet. JGR's move to Toyota never sat well with Stewart, whose fleet of sprint cars remained powered by Chevrolet. Stewart is expected to make wholesale changes in the team, starting with bringing in all-new key personnel, as well as re-naming the team Stewart Haas Racing. JGR is expected to announce that 18-year-old phenom Joey Logano will take Stewart's Home Depot-sponsored seat in 2009.

Publisher's Note: John Thawley, the photographer extraordinaire who usually graces us with his terrific digital images from the American Le Mans Series, attended the SVRA's Vintage Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio two weeks ago and took in the sights and captured some beautiful shots for us. Click here for a gallery of John's excellent work. - PMD

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arrowup.gifarrowup.gifarrowup.gifRoad America. The Kohler International Challenge with Brian Redman presented by Ford is, in our estimation, the premier vintage racing weekend of the year. Yeah, we get that it's heresy to even suggest any vintage event holds a candle to the Monterey Historics, but the "KIC" is every bit as cool of an event, if not more so, and for a lot of reasons. First and foremost is the fact that Road America - a blistering fast 4.048-mile layout - is this country's premier natural-terrain road racing circuit, an unmatched jewel that remains the fastest track of its kind in the U.S. The fact that its 640 rolling acres are located in the beautiful Kettle Moraine country of north central Wisconsin - which is why we've officially dubbed Road America "America's National Park of Speed" - makes it the finest setting anywhere to watch a race. And of course the postage stamp town of Elkhart Lake is a throwback to another era that, along with Watkins Glen, NY, witnessed the very beginnings of sports car racing in this country. Take the atmosphere and feel of the town, combine it with the way Elkhart Lake embraces Road America to the point that the two are inexorably linked, and stir in the jaw-dropping array of competition and street cars, and you have a recipe for the most entertaining and satisfying enthusiast weekend of the summer.