Dixon leads Ganassi 1-2 at Kansas
|By Matt Beer||Saturday, May 1st 2010, 19:59 GMT|
Scott Dixon gave Ganassi its first IndyCar victory of 2010 with a commanding performance at Kansas, leading team-mate Dario Franchitti in a one-two.
The duo had run behind polesitter Ryan Briscoe (Penske) at first, swapping places in his wake when Dixon got too close to the Australian's rear wing and slid wide on lap 14.
But Dixon soon repassed Franchitti and then hunted down Briscoe, taking the lead shortly before the first pitstops and then charging away from the field - leading by as much as seven seconds at times.
Franchitti jumped Briscoe for second at the first stops then ran close behind Dixon for most of the rest of the race.
Penske's Helio Castroneves got between them at the last stops, but Dixon had a cushion of lapped cars behind him at the final restart, so had no difficulty pulling away again, while Castroneves was muscled back to fourth by Franchitti and Andretti Autosport's Tony Kanaan in the final four laps.
Briscoe's chance of victory disappeared when his car shed a wheel under yellow. He got back to the pits and rejoined in the midfield, from where he fought back to sixth, just behind Andretti's Ryan Hunter Reay - who made great progress from his lowly grid slot.
But it was a poor race for championship leader Will Power in the third Penske entry. Never on the lead pace, the Australian fell right down the order after missing his mark on the first pitstops and losing a lot of time as his crew struggled to complete refuelling. He finally finished 12th.
Hideki Mutoh (Newman/Haas/Lanigan) and Takuma Sato (KV) were battling for top six finishes after very strong drives until they collided while preparing for the last restart. Sato had previously escaped a pit exit collision with Milka Duno and had flown on his oval racing debut.
While EJ Viso - who briefly ran fifth until getting a pit speeding penalty - also went out with damage having brushed the wall, Mario Moraes at least gave KV a seventh-place finish.
Underdog qualifying stars Alex Tagliani (Fazzt) and Vitor Meira (Foyt) both came away with top ten finishes. Tagliani had tumbled down the order in the first stint then later fought through to eighth, while Meira held fourth, chasing the leaders, in the opening laps before slipping back to 10th. They were split by returnee John Andretti, making a strong debut for Andretti Autosport ahead of his Indianapolis 500 outing.
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Scott Dixon Ganassi 1h50m43.1410s 2. Dario Franchitti Ganassi + 3.0528s 3. Tony Kanaan Andretti + 3.2210s 4. Helio Castroneves Penske + 3.8300s 5. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti + 6.1133s 6. Ryan Briscoe Penske + 6.7951s 7. Mario Moraes KV + 1 lap 8. Alex Tagliani Fazzt + 1 lap 9. John Andretti Andretti + 1 lap 10. Vitor Meira Foyt + 1 lap 11. Danica Patrick Andretti + 2 laps 12. Will Power Penske + 2 laps 13. Marco Andretti Andretti + 2 laps 14. Mike Conway Dreyer & Reinbold + 2 laps 15. Dan Wheldon Panther + 2 laps 16. Raphael Matos Luczo Dragon/de Ferran + 2 laps 17. Sarah Fisher Sarah Fisher + 2 laps 18. Justin Wilson Dreyer & Reinbold + 3 laps 19. Alex Lloyd Dale Coyne + 3 laps 20. Bertrand Baguette Conquest + 3 laps 21. Simona de Silvestro HVM + 3 laps 22. Mario Romancini Conquest + 4 laps Retirements: Hideki Mutoh Newman/Haas/Lanigan 186 laps Takuma Sato KV 186 laps Jay Howard Sarah Fisher 172 laps Milka Duno Dale Coyne 84 laps EJ Viso KV 71 laps