Sam Hornish Jr led more than 100 laps in Sunday's ABC Supply Co./AJ Foyt 225 at the Milwaukee Mile to claim his second win of the season but only after overcoming a stiff challenge from defending Milwaukee winner Dario Franchitti.
MBNA Polewinner Hornish Jr was untouchable throughout the first half of the 225-lap blast around a slippery one-mile Milwaukee oval before having to deal with a two-pronged attack from Andretti-Green Racing. Both Dan Wheldon and Dario Franchitti forced their way to the front of the field during the second half of the race with championship leader Wheldon leading more than 50 consecutive laps during the middle of the race before the final 50 laps came down to a two-way duel between Hornish and Franchitti.
After the Scotsman, and defending Milwaukee winner, grabbed the lead during a round of yellow flag pit stops for Buddy Rice's accident he managed to hold off Hornish Jr until 15 laps to go before the Penske driver forged ahead for two laps. Franchitti fought back to lead laps 213-216 before Hornish snuck by again for the final eight laps to the chequers.
Hornish Jr's second win of the year now moves him into a tie with Franchitti in second place in the standings, 68 points behind Wheldon who crossed the line in fifth place behind the quick and consistent Tomas Scheckter and Tony Kanaan.
Kanaan now sits fourth in points, just three behind Franchitti and Hornish and 71 behind Wheldon.
The fourth member of the Andretti-Green quartet, Bryan Herta crossed the line in sixth position and was the last driver on the lead lap after a race with surprisingly few caution periods. The fourth and final caution of the afternoon was also the most controversial, as teammates Hornish and Castroneves tapped in turn two in an incident that cost the Brazilian driver nine laps in the pits.
Red Bull Cheever Racing teammates Patrick Carpentier and Alex Barron finished a solid seventh and eighth with Vitor Meira ninth and Scott Sharp, three laps down in tenth.
With high temperatures and an especially greasy track surface playing havoc with many drivers' set-ups, Kosuke Matsuura, Ed Carpenter, Scott Dixon, Jimmy Kite and Roger Yasukawa completed the top 15, all five laps adrift and more of Hornish Jr.
Briton Darren Manning's day ended after just 34 laps when he retired his simply undriveable Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara-Toyota while rookie sensation Danica Patrick also fell foul of the conditions and crashed on lap 126.