17 July 2005
Franchitti wins 'home' race at Nashville.
Dario Franchitti passed Patrick Carpentier on lap 194 and held on for the victory in the Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville Superspeedway Saturday.
"We've had a fast car all year, but for some reason or another, we couldn't get to victory lane," said Franchitti. "We had a wheel bearing failure in the warm-up, so we feel like we got our bad luck out of the way early."
Sam Hornish Jr., who started 13th, passed Carpentier on the final lap to grab second. Carpentier was third, followed by Scott Sharp and Helio Castroneves. Danica Patrick, who led midway through the race, finished seventh.
"Dario had the big track position there on the last restart," Hornish said. "We were starting seventh. I definitely wish we could've done a little bit better, but Dario was up there all day long. I wish we could have given him a little bit of a run there at the end though."
Tony Kanaan led at the halfway point, but 16 laps later his #11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone veered to the right entering Turn 1 and made contact with the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car driven by Darren Manning. Kanaan said "something broke" on the right front of the car. Both drivers were uninjured.
Kanaan, who started seventh, jumped to the point on a lap 38 restart after a caution period because of contact of the #2 ROCKSTAR Panther Racing Chevrolet-powered Dallara driven by Tomas Enge with the Turn 1 SAFER Barrier. Enge was transported to University Medical Centre in Lebanon for an MRI on his back.
IndyCar Series points leader Dan Wheldon, who had 15 consecutive top-10 finishes dating to last season, retired on lap 96 because of a suspension problem on the #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone.
"We're pretty sure that we lost the outside-rear upright and it's unfortunate," he reflected. "I'm not sure that we had a car capable of winning, but the Klein Tools/Jim Beam car was competitive, and we could have picked up some valuable points. It's just a shame."
Prior to the IndyCar Series event meanwhile, Jaime Camara, driving the #1 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone, led every lap from the pole position and won under caution to claim his second career Menards Infiniti Pro Series victory in the Cleanevent 100.
"I had a very good car today," said Camera. "In Indy, we dominated the whole weekend. Here it was almost like that. I knew I had a good car. I knew I had a good shot to win the race. I just tried to focus and not make any mistakes. I made one or two, but that's experience. I'm not going to make them again. We made it."
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