IndyCar »

Hornish pounds field to win in Kentucky.

Defending IRL IndyCar Series Champion Sam Hornish Jr gave the new Chevy/Cosworth Gen IV engine a stunning maiden victory as he simply annihilated the rest of the field in Sunday's Belterra Casino Indy 300 at the Kentucky Speedway.

Chevrolet announced their return to form in dominant fashion as Hornish Jr led all but 19 laps of the 200-lap blast around Kentucky's bumpy 1.5-mile tri oval, creating a new IRL record for the fastest race run in series history as he lapped all but two other drivers.

The Panther Racing driver's eventual 1.7-second margin of victory over Scott Dixon was wholly unrepresentative of the kind of beating he administered to his rivals right from the drop of the green flag but more it was a testament to Dixon's ability to stay in touch with the yellow Pennzoil sponsored bullet during the final 44 lap green flag run to the chequered flag.

The afternoon's sole caution flag came out on lap 147 when Kenny Brack suffered an oil fire in his Team Rahal Dallara-Honda but by that point Hornish had lapped everyone bar Dixon, with Bryan Herta sneaking back onto the lead lap courtesy of a cunning late fuel strategy. However even though Dixon managed to stay in touch with Hornish, as he had done for the first 100 laps before Hornish finally established his lead at more than ten seconds, Herta posed no threat and crossed the line a staggering 15 seconds behind the winner in third place.

Fourth place, and the first man off the lead lap was Al Unser Jr while Helio Castroneves held off an almost race long challenge from Tony Kanaan to claim fifth spot.

Seventh behind Kanaan was Dreyer & Reinbold Racing's Robbie Buhl who enjoyed his most competitive outing for more than a year in the Purex sponsored #24 Dallara-Chevrolet.

Rookie Dan Wheldon finished eighth with a rather shell-shocked Gil de Ferran and Tomas Scheckter tenth.

With Vitor Meira not starting, attrition was remarkably low as 18 of the 20 starters made it to the end with Alex Barron joining Brack on the DNF list when he suffered a rare Toyota engine failure on lap 104. However the relative lack of incident and accident didn't matter to those who spent a mere 90 minutes in awe watching Hornish Jr turn everyone else into an also ran.

With four races remaining on the 2003 schedule Tony Kanaan still holds the points lead with a 385-377 advantage over Castroneves with Dixon third on 373, de Ferran fourth on 372 and Hornish fifth with 308. After Gateway Hornish still felt he could make it three IRL titles in a row and after winning the fastest race in IRL history (197.897mph) at a canter, who is to argue?


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sam Hornish Jr, Pennzoil Panther Racing, pre-season testing at Homestead. [IMS Photo Ron McQueeny]
Sam Hornish Jr - Panther Racing Dallara-Chevrolet
Scott Dixon during pre-season testing at Homestead. [IMS Photo Ron McQueeny]
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, and his team perform the traditional kissing of the bricks after racing to victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, drinks the traditional bottle of milk while celebrating his victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates his victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, crosses the finish line as he races to victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Will Power (left), driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, finishes second. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Andy Frame/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Penske team mates Juan Pablo Montoya and Will Power race side-by-wide during the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe during practice prior to Qualifying for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race (Photo by: Leigh Spargur)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies third fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, and will start on the outside of the front row for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Pagenaud will be joined in the front row by by polestar Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who qualified second fastest for the May 24 race. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies second-fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, and will start in the middle of the front row for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Power will be joined in the front row by pole sitter Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet  who qualified third for the May 24 race. (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates after qualifying fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, winning the pole for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dixon will be joined in the front row by Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who qualified second fastest, and Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet  who qualified third for the May 24 race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, winning the pole for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dixon will be joined in the front row by Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who qualified second fastest, and Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet  who qualified third for the May 24 race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon after winning P1 at IMS for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis Mile Race on Sunday May 18 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon after winning P1 at IMS for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis Mile Race on Sunday May 18 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon after winning P1 at IMS for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis Mile Race on Sunday May 18 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon after winning P1 at IMS for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis Mile Race on Sunday May 18 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon leaves for his qualifying run for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis Mile Race on Sunday May 18 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2015 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.