Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan started alongside his team-mate on the outside of the front row, led the first lap and never looked back on the way to his second consecutive Indy Racing League victory Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway.

Kanaan, who notched his first career IndyCar Series win at Phoenix last season, led 191 of the 200 laps in the #11 Honda-powered Dallara, relinquishing the point just once during a round of green flag pit-stops before the halfway point. In two career IRL starts at Phoenix, Kanaan has led 270 of the 400 laps run, marking himself out as the man to beat at the desert oval.

After taking the lead on the opening lap from Andretti Green team-mate Dan Wheldon, Kanaan set the pace, with Homestead-Miami winner Sam Hornish Jr in his tyre tracks. The two stayed out front until a round of green flag pit-stops began 65 laps into the event. When the cycle ended a dozen laps later, Kanaan and Hornish resumed their roles at the head of the field. However, Hornish spun just past the 80-lap mark and damaged his machine, which moved last year's series champion Scott Dixon into the #2 spot.

Dixon chased Kanaan for more than 40 laps before the final set of pit-stops arrived with 65 tours remaining. A good stop for Kanaan was critical in order to maintain control of the race and his Team 7-Eleven crew answered, returning the Brazilian to the race track with the top spot. Kanaan then withstood constant pressure from Dixon throughout the rest of the event to secure the third career IndyCar Series win for Andretti Green Racing.

"I'm so happy for everybody on Team 7-Eleven," Kanaan beamed, "The team did a great job - all I did was drive the car around. They made all the changes and did all the work. We had great pit-stops and a great engine from Honda. A win is the best thing we can give all the guys that work in the shop."

The victor paid tribute to his closest rival's effort, but reckoned he had enough in hand to deal with the Kiwi.

"Scott was really strong at the end, but closing is one thing, passing is another," he said.

"We were just strong enough and were able to hold off the people behind us," agreed AGR president Kim Green, "We had great pit-stops and just hung in there all day. "We weren't that good when we tested here in February and we had a lot of work to do. We were determined to come back with a better race car - and we did."

Kanaan's performance was the most dominant performance in an IRL event since Dixon led all 206 laps in the rain-shortened event at Richmond last year. The win allowed him to take a six-point lead over Penske driver Helio Castroneves, who endured a tough event after finishing second in the season opener at Homestead.