Taylor wins Kansas IPS despite penalty

Mark Taylor, sent from pole position to the back of the field Saturday after failing scrutineering, overcame the penalty to win a wheel-to-wheel duel with Ed Carpenter in the Aventis Racing for Kids 100, an Infiniti Pro Series race Sunday morning at Kansas Speedway

Taylor wins Kansas IPS despite penalty

Taylor held the low line beneath Carpenter through the final 19 laps, at times narrowly avoiding touching Carpenter's car as they circled the 1.5-mile track.

"I knew I had to do it," Taylor said. "That was the opportunity he gave me, so I took it. He didn't give me much, but he gave me enough."

Taylor's car was sent to the back of the 14-car field after Infiniti Pro Series director Roger Bailey determined that an aluminum panel on the back of the oil and water radiators on the car was illegal. Panther Racing's chief operating officer, Doug Boles, filed a protest, arguing that the rulebook allows for blanking covers on the radiator exit.

"We relied upon the rule that allows this type of device," Boles said in a statement released by Panther Racing. "In the absence of a specific clarification to Panther Racing of the rule or a bulletin that is posted for all competitors, we believe we had the right to use the part."

Bailey denied the protest, and Taylor was forced to start 14th. He didn't stay there long, though; by the 22nd lap of the 67-lap race, he was fourth. For the final 25 laps, he exchanged the lead with Carpenter, at times running side-by-side.

"I don't think there's anybody in the series that I'd want to run that close with," Carpenter said. "He's a professional."
Carpenter finished 0.1666 seconds behind Taylor, the series points leader. Tom Wood was third, 0.4088 seconds behind.

"I was just hoping they would do something to each other so I could get by them," Wood said. "We definitely had something for them."

In the end, though, Taylor got his revenge. "I was a little bit worried that I might take us both out," Taylor said. "But there was enough space where I was able to squeeze down onto the apron."

Panther Racing, which had an opportunity to file an appeal after the protest was denied, chose not to appeal. However, the hard feelings about the pole weren't necessarily diminished by the race win.

"The error in this situation is on the part of IPS and not on Panther Racing," team co-owner Gary Pedigo said in a statement. "We earned the pole position, and we believe it was unjustly taken away."

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