Bourdais Wins IROC Texas

Champ Car champion won the International Race of Champions event at the Texas Motor Speedway, the first time an open wheel racer has an IROC race for eight years

Bourdais Wins IROC Texas

"All the open-wheel guys were happy for me," Bourdais noted after the race, "because we've been kicked around here for a while. I think they were excited that a fellow open-wheel driver won here tonight."

Bourdais, on pole due to finishing last in the first race of the year in Daytona, led for 53 of 67 laps on the way to becoming only the fourth non-American to win a race, and the first since Geoff Brabham in 1992.

Steve Kinser took the lead from the start, staying there for just six laps before Bourdais reclaimed the lead, running there strongly for almost thirty laps. Kurt Busch pressured the Frenchman for the lead on lap 36 at the restart after Danny Lasoski's crash, taking the position and pulling away.

It wasn't to last - just ten laps later Busch was also into the wall as a result of his right front tyre deflating as a result of his crew mixing the left and right at his pitstop.

Bourdais reclaimed the lead and held it for the remainder of the race despite being put under enormous pressure late in the race from a fast charging Mark Martin, who had come through the grid from last to second during the race.

"It's quite special for an open-wheel driver to keep up with the NASCAR drivers here," Bourdais laughed after the race. "These guys have a lot of tricks, and they use them all the time. I practiced in the IROC cars here on Monday night and it was quite productive. I tried some different lines and they paid off."

''The biggest chance we had was if he would have made a mistake,'' Martin admitted. "It didn't look like that would happen. He did an awesome job - he is an incredibly talented young race car driver."

International Race of Champions, Texas - Race Results:

Pos.Driver Grid Laps 1. Sebastien Bourdais 1 67 2. Mark Martin 12 67 3. Buddy Rice 8 67 4. Martin Truex Jr. 11 67 5. Bobby Hamilton 10 67 6. Max Papis 7 67 7. Danny Lasoski 6 67 8. Steve Kinser 2 67 9. Matt Kenseth 9 67 10. Helio Castroneves 5 67 11. Kurt Busch 4 45 12. Scott Pruett 3 5
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