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Sharp seizes opportunity to win Indy Japan 300.

Brack looked ready to make a late charge toward Sharp, but an accident between Shinji Nakano and Jaques Lazier on Lap 194 of the 200-lap race caused the race to finish under the caution flag, delivering the victory to Sharp.

''The car was really, really good, but we picked up a puncture, and we had to fight our way back through the line and everything,'' Brack said. ''Second is better than third. We ran out of laps in the end. I think we could have won had we had 10 more green laps because we were clearly fastest, but we had another yellow.

''But we're happy. It was a great comeback for us. It's our third race in a new formula. It says a lot about the team and the engineers and everyone on the crew to make a car that good.''

Sharp led three times during the event for 26 laps. He led Lap 103 and Laps 162-163 during pit stop sequences before taking the lead for good after Kanaan and Dixon wrecked with 23 laps to go.

Kanaan, Dixon and Scheckter controlled the race before the incident-filled final 40 laps. They combined to lead 140 of the first 160 laps and were the only drivers to turn a 200-mph lap during the race. Kanaan led 70 laps, more than any other driver.

But the race doesn't always go the swiftest. Especially on the tricky 1.5-mile Motegi oval on a day that threw a curve ball at drivers and teams.

The first two days of this event took place under cloudy skies and cool temperatures. But a bright sun this morning heated a track washed clean by all-night rains, raising the track temperature to 120 degrees at the start. It was much warmer than the track temperatures either of the first two days of the race.

Those condition changes could have contributed to a rough first 45 laps in which two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves, Sarah Fisher, Shigeaki Hattori, Roger Yasukawa and Scott Mayer were involved in accidents.

But the field settled into a groove for the next 120 laps before dramatic, race-changing incidents started sprouting at the front of the field over the last 35 laps.

Kanaan was the only driver involved in any of the incidents to require further medical attention. He was awake and alert when transported by air to Dokkyo University School of Medicine Hospital in Tochigi, Japan, for X-rays of his right leg and left arm.



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