Rear View Mirror: Watkins Glen

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Overshadowing the finish of Sunday’s Camping World Grand Prix at Watkins Glen International was a pit road altercation among a group of onlookers triggered by a heated discussion between Sam Hornish Jr. and Tony Kanaan. The pair had bumped when Hornish attempted a pass midway through the race, and then Kanaan moved in on Hornish on pit road.

"He ran into me and tried to put me in the inside wall," Hornish said "That’s something I am not going to take, especially coming into pit lane where you’ve got all the guys that are going over the wall … People that aren’t expecting two cars to come down there, having problems. When you get out, you can talk about it. Or you can not talk about it."

Hornish’s father got into the middle of the heated discussion and was thrown to the ground by an onlooker.

"I was not going to fight with Sam," Kanaan said. "I was not going to punch him. We were obviously both hot and were talking about what happened and his dad came in and bumped me. I think that’s totally wrong."

The altercation is currently under review by the IndyCar Series.

Hornish said he learned from the experience. "Maybe I’ll just walk away next time instead of asking the question, ‘Why did you do that?’"

Along with taking the limelight away from race winner Scott Dixon, the altercation also diverted the attention from Hornish’s road course performance.

In addition to scoring his best career finish on a road course, Hornish had his second-best finish of the season this weekend at Watkins Glen. After his victory at Texas Motor Speedway in June, Hornish had back-to-back finishes of 14th and 15th that all but eliminated him from championship contention.

What Do You Think?
What did you think about Scott Dixon's victory? What about the rest of this weekend’s Camping World Grand Prix? Send your opinions to jjomalley@racingone.com and make sure to check back with RacingOne to see what other’s think in this week’s edition of the "Fan’s Eye View" this Wednesday.

The NASCAR Question
Both Roger Penske and Sam Hornish Jr. denied published rumors that the 2006 IndyCar Series champion will be moving to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series in 2008.

However, Penske did confirm that Hornish will compete in several NASCAR races following the September 9 conclusion of the 2007 IndyCar series campaign.

"Nothing is set in stone," Penske said.

Hornish dodged several opportunities to comment on his decision.

"What decision is that? What’s for dinner? I have no idea," Hornish said. "Nobody’s made any decisions yet."

Dixon Continues Glen Dominance
Scott Dixon became the second open-wheel driver to win three consecutive races at Watkins Glen International, joining Formula One driver Graham Hill. The only other IndyCar Series driver to win three consecutive races at one venue was Dan Wheldon, who extended his streak at Homestead-Miami Speedway earlier this season.

Dixon won three races in 2003, when he won the IndyCar Series title. He’s won four races since then — three at the Glen and at Nashville Superspeedway last July.

Matsuura Bounces Back
Panasonic Panther Racing’s Kosuke Matsuura rebounded from a practice crash to score his best finish of the season, eighth. "It feels like today was my first decent race and the first race I was able to enjoy since the start of the season." Matsuura hopes to silence pit side rumors that the team’s Indy Pro Series driver, will be taking over the team’s IndyCar Series ride.

Watkins Glen Proves Demanding
All three of the top finishers remarked on the physical demands of racing at The Glen. "This was a very, very tough race – maybe one of the toughest," Dario Franchitti said.

The race took its toll on Darren Manning, who finished ninth in the No. 14 ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt Racing Honda. "I need to get in the gym and get a bit more like A.J.," Manning said.

Foyt Goes NASCAR Racing
Larry Foyt, team manager for ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt Racing, attempted to make both races at Daytona International Speedway this weekend. He qualified for the Busch Series race, but rain halted his attempt to make the field for the Pepsi 400 NEXTEL Cup Series event with BAM.

"I tested with Evernham Enterprises with their restrictor plate stuff a lot over the winter," Foyt said. "There’s a good chance I’ll be back with BAM at Talladega in October, trying to make the first race with the Car of Tomorrow there. But I’m so busy over here with the IndyCar Series team."

Foyt’s Busch Series race was hampered by a broken exhaust. That forced carbon monoxide into the cockpit, ending his race early. He finished the 100-lap event in 38th place.

Back to Brazil for Kanaan
The WGI event was the final race of the season for Dani Kanaan, wife of 2004 IndyCar Series champion Tony Kanaan. She is now headed back to their home in Brazil, where she is expecting a child in September.

Race Center

Auto Club 500

@ Auto Club Speedway
Saturday, October 19, 2013
TV Start:
NBCSN

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