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Dixon repeat winner in IRL race



Published: Mon, July 16, 2007 @ 12:00 a.m.

He ran away with the Firestone Indy 200 for his second straight win.

GLADEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Having confidence in his top competitor allowed Scott Dixon to make the key pass that led to victory.

Dixon dipped to the inside and drove past points leader Dario Franchitti and Dan Wheldon on lap 88, then ran away with the Firestone Indy 200 Sunday for his second straight IndyCar victory. He also became the first driver to repeat at the Nashville Superspeedway.

“Both of them going three wide into 3, it’s not always a good situation,” Dixon said.

“I trust Dario, a great competitor and a very fair guy to race with. I knew if I was inside of him, he was going to give me the room. Dan didn’t even know I was there. Luckily, he gave us the room we needed to. It was a little hairy there for a few seconds.”

Dixon, who also won last week at Watkins Glen, became the 14th driver with consecutive IndyCar Series wins.

Survived first rainout

The man with the fastest car in practice and qualifying made only a few changes to survive the IndyCar Series’ first rainout in seven years. The rain turned a Saturday night race under the lights into a steamy sprint on a hot day where the track was 106 degrees at the start.

“That’s two weeks in a row, and definitely what we need for the championship,” Dixon said.

Dixon’s victory at Watkins Glen last week was overshadowed by the fight involving Tony Kanaan and Sam Hornish Jr., but he had no such problems Sunday when not even a caution for a light sprinkle or a restart with six laps left could eat into his lead.

His second victory this season and eighth of his career pulled him within 34 points of Franchitti with six races left.

“I like being in this position. We have nothing to lose. We can go as fast as we possibly can and go for race wins. That’s something we struggled with at the first of the season,” Dixon said of four second-place finishes.

“Now we’ve got to go all out and try to get as many wins as possible.”

Patrick finishes third

Franchitti was second, and Danica Patrick tied her career-best finish of third earlier this year at Texas. Hornish was fourth followed by Marco Andretti.

Franchitti and Patrick were unhappy with having to fight through lapped traffic that kept either from making a run late. Only eight of the 18 cars finished on the lead lap, and Patrick particularly pointed out Ed Carpenter, who finished 13th and three laps down.

“You need to let the people at the front have their race,” Patrick said. “That’s what held me up the most. Carpenter was not cooperating, and we’ll address that. There’s no doubt about it.”


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