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Carpenter Wins Kentucky; Dario Grabs Points Lead

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Sunday, October 2 2011

Dario Franchitti recaptured the IndyCar points lead Sunday. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Garry Eller)

Dario Franchitti moved to the points lead in the IZOD IndyCar Series standings Sunday when he finished second at Kentucky Speedway. Will Power, who had the lead with the race started and who led the first 48 laps at Kentucky, finished 19th.

Franchitti, of Target Chip Ganassi Racing, heads to the season finale at Las Vegas with an 18-point advantage over Team Penske’s Power.

Sarah Fisher Racing’s Ed Carpenter nailed down his first victory in the  Kentucky Indy 300 by edging Franchitti by 0.0098 of a second in the closest series finish in Kentucky Speedway history.

The victory was fitting for Carpenter, who placed second in Kentucky by 0.0162 of a second to Team Penske’s Ryan Briscoe on Aug. 1, 2009 and runner-up to Penske driver Helio Castroneves by 13.1597 seconds in the track’s Sept. 4, 2010 event.

Scott Dixon took third in the Chip Ganassi Racing No. 9 Target Dallara/Honda/Firestone, James Hinchcliffe finished fourth in the No. 06 Sprott Dallara/Honda/Firestone with Newman/Haas Racing and Ryan Hunter-Reay completed the race top five in the Andretti Autosport No. 27 Team DHL Dallara/Honda/Firestone.

Carpenter rocketed past Dixon on the third and final restart of the race on Lap 178, took his first lead on Lap 188 and exchanged the lead with the three-time defending IICS champion four times in the closing 12 laps before sealing the victory.

“It feels way better than I thought it was going to feel. Dario raced me hard and clean. I knew we had a better car than him the second or third stint of the race.

“We had really good restart gears – good restarts all day. Dixon was struggling around the bottom, so I believed if I’d be able to stay underneath him I’d get a good start (on the last restart). The window opened up and he didn’t get a great run.

I think he was just hoping to be able to follow under Dario and it didn’t happen so he just tucked right in. I started racing Dario because we were faster. I had to check one time to make sure we had enough fuel for the end. I think with nine laps to go is when I knew I’d beat him.

“I set it up, used a push to pass. They got it to where I’d have one more push to pass and I was able to use in the last five laps. Did a great job and it worked,” Carpenter said.

Results Sunday of the Kentucky Indy 300 IZOD IndyCar Series event on the 1.48 mile Kentucky Speedway, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (4) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running

2. (11) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running

3. (7) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running

4. (3) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running

5. (8) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running

6. (9) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running

7. (15) Wade Cunningham, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running

8. (18) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running

9. (17) Buddy Rice, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running

10. (14) Danica Patrick, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running

11. (26) Townsend Bell, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running

12. (2) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running

13. (10) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running

14. (28) Dan Wheldon, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running

15. (22) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running

16. (21) Vitor Meira, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running

17. (19) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running

18. (12) Mike Conway, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running

19. (1) Will Power, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running

20. (5) JR Hildebrand, Dallara-Honda, 199, Running

21. (27) James Jakes, Dallara-Honda, 198, Running

22. (29) Pippa Mann, Dallara-Honda, 197, Running

23. (23) EJ Viso, Dallara-Honda, 192, Running

24. (20) Ana Beatriz, Dallara-Honda, 165, Contact

25. (13) Simona de Silvestro, Dallara-Honda, 141, Mechanical

26. (24) Alex Lloyd, Dallara-Honda, 140, Contact

27. (6) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 140, Contact

28. (25) Dillon Battistini, Dallara-Honda, 124, Driver Fatigue

29. (16) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Honda, 34, Mechanical

Race Statistics

Winners average speed: 174.039

Time of Race: 01:42:02.7825

Margin of victory: .0098 of a second

Cautions: 3 for 32 laps

Lead changes: 7 among 4 drivers

Lap Leaders: Power 1 – 48, Hildebrand 49, Franchitti 50 – 187, Carpenter 188, Franchitti 189-190, Carpenter 191-192, Franchitti 193-195, Carpenter 196-200.

Point Standings: Franchitti 573, Power 555, Dixon 518, Servia 425, Kanaan 366, Briscoe 364, Hunter-Reay 347, Andretti 337, Rahal 320, Patrick 314.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Sunday, October 2 2011
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