Sam Hornish Jr raced into the IRL IndyCar Series points lead with his second win in eight days after a dominating performance in the Kansas Lottery Indy 300.

Much like he did last Saturday night at Richmond Hornish Jr paced the majority of the 200-laps that made up the eighth round of the 2006 season in his #6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara-Honda for his third win of the season.

Target Chip Ganassi Racing may have had the edge over Hornish's Penske crew in the pits but on the track the current Indy 500 champion was in a class of his own with any lead held by another driver proving to be short lived.

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It took Hornish seven laps to get by polesitter Dan Wheldon at the beginning of the 200-lap blast around the wide open 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway and while both Wheldon and his teammate Scott Dixon would edge ahead of the double series champion during pitstops Hornish was always able to get back ahead.

Once again the race was run with relatively few caution periods with the first yellow pegging back a rampant Hornish, who had eased out a several second lead inside 30 laps. From that point onwards Hornish's lead would rarely top more than two seconds with Wheldon and Dixon both taking turns to try and wrest the spot away.

Although Dixon's quick pitstop enabled the New Zealander to exit the pits ahead of Hornish during the opening round of stops it took Hornish less than a lap to get the lead back.

The next time Hornish would be usurped was during a round of green flag pitstops with roughly 50 laps remaining when Wheldon's team was able to service their man quicker than anyone else and send the Englishman back on track with a reasonably healthy lead.

In clean air and with more than a second in hand over Hornish, Wheldon was actually able to maintain an advantage over the Marlboro backed machine until a pair of late cautions for separate single car incidents involving Scott Sharp and Buddy Rice pegged the Ganassi man back.

Like he had done earlier in the day to Dixon, Hornish took less than a lap to blow by Wheldon and retake the lead following the final restart of the day on lap 186 and although Wheldon remained stapled to the leaders gearbox for the remaining laps, he didn't have the oomph to make a decisive move for the lead.

Hornish's scant 0.07-secs margin of victory allows him to unofficially take the IRL points lead for the first time this season after his teammate Helio Castroneves had a fraught run to sixth place.

The Brazilian driver was lucky to finish the race at all after an early brush with the turn four wall resulted in him losing his rear wing. Incredibly his #3 Penske team were able to repair the offending item under caution without losing a lap and Castroneves was able to claw his way back up the leaderboard to take a top six finish, limiting the damage to his title hopes.

The race was largely a three-horse affair with Hornish and the two Target cars running well clear of the chasing pack for most of the day. Dixon would be sucked into the battle for third in the closing stages however and lost the final podium spot to Panther Racing's Vitor Meira in the final laps with a fast starting Tony Kanaan completing the top five after a poor qualifying effort on Saturday.

Behind Castroneves Tomas Scheckter and Kosuke Matsuura were the only other lead lap finishers with rookie pairing Marco Andretti and Jeff Simmons rounding out the top ten both one lap adrift of the leaders.

Danica Patrick finished eleventh, two laps down to Hornish with Dario Franchitti and unspectacular 12th and Eddie Cheever 14th in what could be his final race pending extra sponsorship.

Rice and Sharp were the only two drivers to suffer terminal damage against the concrete walls, both coming to grief in turn four, while Ed Carpenter and Felipe Giaffone both fell by the wayside with mechanical problems.