Herta Hammers Field
July 31, 2005 | 9:19 A.M. EST
Herta, who won the Marlboro Pole Qualifying award with a fast lap of 219.141 mph (32.8556 seconds) on the 2-mile D-shaped oval, held off Andretti Green Racing teammate Dan Wheldon by 0.0374 of a second – the 11th closest finish in IndyCar Series history. Tomas Scheckter finished third, followed by Tony Kanaan, Sam Hornish Jr. and Buddy Lazier.
It was Herta’s first victory since 2003 at Kansas Speedway. The Michigan native, who had led on 152 laps in his previous 37 IndyCar Series starts, had been the only Andretti Green Racing driver not to win a race this season.
“I couldn’t be happier,” Herta said. “We were the only ones on this team that hadn’t won this year, and we wanted to make it right. It’s just awesome.”
Herta got a good jump on a Lap 194 restart in the No. 7 XM Satellite Radio Dallara-Honda following the race's only incident, a multi-car crash on Lap 181 involving Townsend Bell, Jaques Lazier, Kosuke Matsuura and Roger Yasukawa.
None of the drivers were injured in the accident.
Rookie Danica Patrick struggled all day, quickly dropping from her eight starting position to 18th, and then going a lap down before dropping out with mechanical problems on lap 163.
The IRL IndyCar Series now heads to Kentucky Speedway on August 14.