No. 954
July 11, 2018
 

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Tuesday
Apr012008

Horizon #439

April 2, 2008 

arrowup.gifScott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing, Honda. Scott Dixon (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone) won the IndyCar Series opener last Saturday night, capturing the checkered flag in the GAINSCO Auto Insurance Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, 0.5828 seconds ahead of Marco Andretti (No. 26 Andretti Green Racing NYSE D/H/F). Dixon, the pole-sitter, took over the lead on a Lap 197 restart when race leader Tony Kanaan (No. 11 AGR Team 7-Eleven D/H/F) had to slow with a damaged right front wheel and tire after a collision with Ernesto Viso, a lapped driver. Dixon then held off Andretti to claim his 11th career IndyCar Series victory. Kanaan finished in eighth. Dixon's teammate, Dan Wheldon (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing D/H/F) finished third, coming all the way back from the 22nd starting position after crashing in qualifying. “It was one of those races where we didn’t exactly have the speed all the time, or things weren’t really going our way, but we still came out on top," Dixon said. "If you can have races like that, where you have a bad day, or a day where you don’t think you’re at your best, and you still come out on top, that’s a great way to take some points away from others and hopefully it works for the rest of the season.” The average speed of 171.248 was the fastest race in IndyCar Series history at Homestead-Miami. The previous fastest was 167.730 in 2006. The race also had the fewest caution laps (24) of any race at Homestead-Miami.

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(Jim Haines/IRL)
Scott Dixon won his 11th career IndyCar Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway last Saturday night - the 2008 season opener.

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(Jim Haines/IRL)
Marco Andretti gets pit service from his Andretti Green Racing NYSE crew during last Saturday night's IRL race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

arrowup.gifThe Former Champ Car Teams. Twenty-six cars started Saturday night's GAINSCO Auto Insurance Indy 300, the first unified race under the IndyCar Series banner – with the addition of eight drivers from Champ Car. Four of the eight transitioning drivers finished the 300-mile race, three dropped out for mechanical reasons, and only one was involved in an on-track incident when Ernesto Viso suffered a tire puncture late in the race. "It was a long day in the office, but that means we achieved our first goal, which was to finish the race with no damage to the car," said Oriol Servia, who led the group with a 12th-place finish in the No. 5 KV Racing Technology car. "But it was also long because we did not have the speed that we were hoping for. We knew we were going to struggle. It's just tough when you are in the middle of it. We did what we had to do, we gathered a lot of data and we have to take this process step by step. The KV Racing Technology team did a great job. They have all worked hard and the car ran well until the end. We knew it was going to be like this. You hope for a miracle to happen, but we will leave the miracle for the Month of May." Next up for the IndyCar Series is the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on April 6 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla.

arrowup.gifDillon Battistini. The re-named Firestone Indy Lights series kicked-off at Homestead-Miami Speedway last weekend with Dillon Battistini becoming the fifth Firestone Indy Lights driver to win in his first start when he captured the Miami 100. Battistini passed Richard Antinucci on Lap 64 of the 67-lap sprint to win by 1.6848 seconds. Antinucci finished second, while Brent Sherman was third.

arrowup.gifScott Pruett, Memo Rojas, Ganassi Racing, Lexus. Making it two for two in the 2008 season, Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas (No. 01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Lexus Riley) extended their Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 point lead Saturday by winning last Saturday afternoon's GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The duo combined to lead 51 laps overall, including 41 for Pruett, to win the 99-lap race by 1.645 seconds over defending race co-winner Bill Auberlen and Joey Hand (No. 23 Alex Job Racing Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Porsche Crawford). It also marked Pruett's record-extending 16th Daytona Prototype victory in Grand-Am competition. "Everything was good today; we could run inside, outside - high, low, really anywhere on the track," Pruett said. "This was truly one of the best cars I've ever had. The engine was phenomenal. They've worked hard to improve our drivability since Daytona - and in all the races we've won, I think this might have been our best Lexus engine ever." Rounding out the Daytona Prototype podium were Oswaldo Negri and Mark Patterson (No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ford Riley). Pruett and Rojas stretched their championship lead to a 13-point gap over defending champions Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty following two events. The race was a caution-fest with nine full course caution periods for 40 laps.

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(Copyright © 2008, John Thawley ~ Creative Communications Group All rights reserved)
The winning Scott Pruett/Memo Rojas Lexus Riley captured at speed by ace photographer John Thawley. Click on the photo to see a gallery of John's work from last Saturday's GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Thanks again to John for allowing us to display his outstanding work on Ujian-nasional.info.

arrowup.gifKelly Collins, Paul Edwards, Banner Racing, Pontiac. Kelly Collins and Paul Edwards (No. 07 Banner Racing Banner Engineering Pontiac GXP.R) led 51 laps to win the Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 GT class from the pole at the GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Edwards led the final 30 laps after getting by Jan Heylen on Lap 70 of the 99-lap race. Edwards and Collins also finished 10th overall, 1.118 seconds ahead of Spencer Pumpelly and Tim George Jr.(No. 67 TRG Gleukos/Monster Cable Porsche GT3). Banner Racing team owner Leighton Reese and co-driver Jan Magnussen (No. 06 Banner Racing Banner Engineering Pontiac GXP.R) finished third after starting second-to-last (the team made an engine change in the 06 car on Friday). "This is awesome," said Edwards, who combined with Collins to finish second in the GT driver standings last season. "We made huge changes to the car following Thursday's practice, bigger changes we'd like to make during a racing weekend. This gives us the momentum we need, because Mexico City is a great track for us." "From the get-go, the car was good," added Collins.

arrowdown.gifarrowdown.gifarrowdown.gifMax Mosley. The 67-year-old FIA president allegedly gets caught (on video, no less) with five prostitutes role-playing in a weird Nazi prison camp-themed "sadomasochistic orgy" according to notorious British tabloid News of the World. What's adding to the scandal is the fact that Mosley's father - Oswald Mosley - was an open Adolf Hitler sympathizer and the leading fascist leader in Britain right before World War II. Mosley is seeking legal relief against the tabloid, and Bernie Ecclestone is dismissing the accusations. Mosley has since apologized, and he vows to stay on as the head of the FIA. Not Good are the two words that come to mind.