Shades Of 2005: Kanaan Tames Mile
July 23, 2006 | 3:48 P.M. EST
Andretti Green's Tony Kanaan took his first victory of the campaign - and first for anyone other than a Penske or Ganassi driver - while Penske's Sam Hornish Jr. rallied from a lap down to finish second, 1.8 seconds behind, and retained the points lead.
"I was happier than I was at the end of 2004," said Kanaan, who won that year's IRL IndyCar Series championship. "We needed this so bad."
Vision Racing's Tomas Scheckter took third, while Rahal Letterman Racing's Danica Patrick took fourth for the second consecutive week, followed by Andretti Green drivers Marco Andretti, Dario Franchitti and Bryan Herta.
Andretti made another strong bid for his first IndyCar Series victory, but was passed for Kanaan with 45 laps remaining. Several cars pitted for fresh tires on the fourth and final caution for contact by Jeff Bucknum with 25 laps remaining, with Andretti falling from the runner-up slot in the final 10 circuits.
Pole winner Helio Castroneves was running sixth under the first caution of the event, for debris on lap 96. Shortly after the restart, Castroneves' right-front wheel clipped Ed Carpenter's right-rear, putting both cars out of the race. Castroneves, who was in position to take over the points lead at the time, is now third in the standings, 30 points behind Hornish.
Ganassi's Dan Wheldon and Scott Dixon were never a factor. Wheldon finished eighth while Dixon took 10th. Dixon remains second in the standings, 25 points behind, while Wheldon is fourth, 32 back.
Vitor Meira was enjoying an impressive run, racing as high as second, when he crashed on lap 137 while running third. He is tied with Kanaan for fifth in the points, 75 back.
Only four races remain on the 2006 schedule, which resumes Sunday with the Firestone Indy 400 at Michigan International Speedway. The series races at Kentucky Speedway and Infineon Raceway in August, with the finale set for September 10 at Chicagoland Speedway.