Chicago IPS: Taylor wins again

Is Mark Taylor the next Sam Hornish Jr.? It was a question raised on Saturday after Taylor moved closer to clinching the IRL Infiniti Pro Series championship by edging Ed Carpenter and Jeff Simmons to win the Chicagoland 100 at Chicagoland Speedway. The win pushed Taylor's lead over Simmons to 71 points

Chicago IPS: Taylor wins again

The next obvious step, then - especially since he drives for Panther Racing in the IRL feeder series - is to replace Hornish in the team's IRL IndyCar Series entry. Hornish has signed for Penske next season, leaving one of the IRL's best rides open.

"I'm trying to impress IndyCar teams; that's where I want to be next year," Taylor said. "The Pennzoil Panther seat is going to be a very important one next year. With Sam moving on, they're going to look at a number of drivers. I'll be given a chance just like everyone else."

Taylor and Carpenter - who will compete in his first IRL IndyCar Series race Sunday - raced side-by-side during the final stages of Saturday's Infiniti race. Taylor hit the finish line 0.0170 seconds ahead of Carpenter, the closest finish in the short two-year history of the training series.

"It was just a shootout," Taylor said. "I had just enough room to make that final run."

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