Wheldon Claims Second Victory Of 2007

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For the second time in the 2007 IndyCar Series season, Dan Wheldon torched the field en route to victory on Sunday, winning the Kansas Lottery Indy 300 at Kansas Speedway comfortably.

Starting from the fourth position, Wheldon’s No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Dallara-Honda was the class of the field, leading all but 23 of 200 laps en route to victory at Kansas, his second win of the season following his victory at the season opening XM Satellite Radio 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

"It was a pure team effort from the Target Chip Ganassi Racing crew," said Wheldon, who recorded his 13th career victory. "Everybody did a great job. We’re gearing up, we’re going to go for the big one now. The Indianapolis 500, that’s the big goal for us. I was frustrated since Motegi and wanted to prove a point. The car was fantastic."

He also became the seventh different winner in seven races at Kansas Speedway. In his last two starts at the speedway, Wheldon has finished second.

Although the Englishman was challenged in the opening laps by polesitter Tony Kanaan, he was able to break away and stay out front for the majority of the event.

About the only other person who could challenge him on the day, teammate Scott Dixon, had to serve a late race penalty for not dropping down onto the apron in Turn 3 prior to pitting, causing him to fall back and be a non-factor in the final outcome.

Wheldon was on pace to win by over 14 seconds at Kansas if not for a single car crash by Scott Sharp with two laps remaining, which forced the race to end under caution. Nonetheless, the race was the Fifth fastest race in IndyCar Series history.

"Those were very challenging track conditions for everybody because it was pretty slippery out there, and obviously it was gusty," said Wheldon. "Yet again, the Firestone Firehawks performed very well - very consistent, and as you can tell by the lap speeds they were definitely providing enough grip to drive fast, so that's certainly good."

Dario Franchitti finished second with Helio Castroneves, Dixon and Tomas Scheckter rounding out the top five.

Defending Kansas winner Sam Hornish Jr., Danica Patrick, Vitor Meira, AJ Foyt IV and Jeff Simmons complete the top 10.

Notably absent from that list of drivers was Kanaan, last week’s winner at Twin Ring Motegi. The Brazilian looked to have lots of momentum coming into the race, combining his triumph last week by taking pole for Sunday’s race. However, an accident on lap 49 ruined his bid for a second straight victory.

While on pit road during the first round of pit stops, Kanaan was hit from behind by teammate teammate Danica Patrick as he entered his pit stall. The crash broke the tie rod on the left-front suspension of his No. 11 7-Eleven Dallara-Honda, forcing an extended pit stop.

"This is an extremely disappointing day. The Team 7-Eleven car was capable of winning," said Kanaan, who finished the day in 15th place, eight laps behind the race winner.

One spot ahead of Kanaan in the finishing order was Venezulean Milka Duno, who was competing in her first career IndyCar Series event. Despite various concerns going into the race, she completed it without major incident and finished six laps off the pace.

The focus of the entire IndyCar Series community now shifts to the "Month of May" festivities, which conclude with the running of the 91st Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 27.

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