Kanaan Races Into Title Chase

The 2007 IndyCar Series season has been dominated by streaky drivers dominating portions of the schedule.

March and April belonged to Dan Wheldon, who dominated the first quarter of the schedule, winning twice and finishing second in another race to take the series point lead.

From May to July, Dario Franchitti won three races in the five-race stretch and took the points lead for the first time in his career.

July belonged to Scott Dixon, who claimed three races in a row (Watkins Glen to Mid-Ohio) and carved away much of the 65-point cushion Franchitti had built.

August has gone Tony Kanaan's way. The 2004 IndyCar Series champion has won back-to-back races, thrusting himself back into the championship picture.

"It's like it was at Indianapolis, nobody was thinking about Dario (Franchitti) and (Scott) Dixon," Kanaan said after winning his season-leading fourth race at Kentucky Speedway. "They all talked about me and (Sam) Hornish and Helio (Castroneves). And look what happened? They finished 1-2.

"Now, everybody's talking about Dario and Dixon, and nobody's talking about me, so I like that. I like that. I don't have that pressure. I still have no pressure."

Franchitti leads Dixon by eight points with three races remaining – the same advantage Helio Castroneves held over Sam Hornish Jr., at this point last season. Kanaan, who is 52 points behind and has dubbed himself "Mr. August," leads a group that includes Wheldon (130 points back) and Hornish (139 points back) which remains mathematically eligible for the title.

While August has been Kanaan's month, his Andretti Green Racing teammate Franchitti has struggled. The Indianapolis 500 champion finished 13th at Michigan after crashing out and eighth at Kentucky after damaging his front wing while avoiding pit road contact with Danica Patrick.

"It was finally their night to lose," Dixon said. "We made good gains in the points today."

With races at the 2.26-mile road course at Infineon Raceway and the 2.906-mile temporary street course at the Raceway at Belle Isle along with the 1.5-mile Chicagoland Speedway left on the schedule. There could be more to lose, which plays into Kanaan's hands.

"I think it's going to be really hard for me to win this championship," Kanaan said. "The best thing I can do is keep winning races and see what's going to happen. From now on, they're being chased by me."

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Auto Club 500

@ Auto Club Speedway
Saturday, October 19, 2013
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