RESULTS REVISED • AMAZING ANZACS • BITS AND BOBS
The unofficial Nikon Indy 300 IndyCar race results changed Sunday afternoon at Surfers Paradise, when the official results were released. BUDDY RICE/No.15 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing moved up two places, from twelfth to tenth. This was due to his being passed by two drivers under a local yellow flag situation – DAN WHELDON/No.4 Panther Racing and JUSTIN WILSON/No.02 Newman Haas Lanigan Racing. Rice started twenty-second to finish tenth, an improvement of twelve positions.
Attendance at the Nikon Indy 300 weekend was down from 2007, daily and overall. There could be any number of reasons starting with the economy, and poor weather on Saturday. This year’s Sunday figure was 94,465 compared to 102,317 last year. Overall this year the crowd count was 297,288 compared to last year’s 314,136. Still – nearly 300,000 isn’t to be sneezed at.
The race lasted 1:45:50.3868 and the average speed was 95.068 mph/152.997 kph.
RYAN BRISCOE/No.6 Team Penske reeled off a set of amazing statistics. He led the race three times for 39 laps, almost two-thirds of the race. His fastest leading lap was 105.000 mph/168.981 kph, on Lap 57.
His two Anzac compatriots did well in the stats department also. Race runner-up, SCOTT DIXON/No.9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing led for nine laps and was dogging Briscoe at the end, drawing closer by the mile.
Pole sitter WILL POWER/No.8 KV Racing Technologies has been on the Surfers pole for the past three Surfers race. This time he led for the first sixteen laps, building up a three-second lead ahead of Briscoe. Then he clipped the wall in Turn Five, limped along and retired at Turn Eight with broken steering. He said “Obviously, I am very disappointed. The KV Racing Technology – Team Australia car was very quick. You could see how fast we were at the start of the race. Then I backed off to save a lot of fuel, not pushing hard. Then I clipped the inside wall and ricochet into the next one. It was a really bad mistake, the worst of my life. It’s was a very bad day for me and I am very disappointed. But, I want to thank all of KVRT Team Australia for all their hard work this weekend they really gave me a great car and it’s a shame we could not finish this race.” Power has run the past four Surfers indy car races, with pole on the last three. However he has DNF’d three of the four times, all due to contact. The fourth race was a low result.
DARIO FRANCHITTI/No.10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing may have finished in sixteenth place, but he ran harder than anyone. The Scot turned the fastest race lap of 1:35.1552/105.743 mph/170.176 kph on Lap 54 of the 60-lap race. Prior to that, Briscoe had turned two fastest laps, as did Dixon twice.
Franchitti was one of six drivers who led the race, in his case for ten laps. But he lost position when he had to pit while leading and ended up at the back of the field and had to work his way back up.
E.J. VISO/No.33 HVM Racing was a double Rookie – to IRL and to Surfers. He started tenth and finished sixth, and won the Lincoln Electric Hard Charger Award. He led lap 41.
Six drivers changed the lead seven times. They were: Power, Briscoe, Dixon, Franchitti, ALEX TAGLIANI/No.36 Conquest Racing, and Viso.
There were three cautions for six laps, all for track disruptions: MARIO MORAES spun in Turn One and hit VITOR MEIRA/No.14 A.J. Foyt Enterprises; several cars tangled in Turn Nine including Vision Racing teammates, ED CARPENTER and A.J. FOYT IV, GRAHAM RAHAL/No.06 Newman Haas Lanigan Racing, and DANICA PATRICK/No.7 Andretti Green Racing. Rahal continued, the others did not. A frantic Patrick could be seen furiously waving and gesturing to be pushed. The last caution was for a spin by Franchitti. There was a local yellow on the last lap when Carpenter and BRUNO JUNQUEIRA/No.18 Dale Coyne Racing came together.
The weather was beautiful all day without a cloud in the sky nor any weather hiccups. The temperatures ranged from 78-79F/25-26C while the track was 120-124F/48-51C.
After the race, JUDITH SPENCE, the Minister of Police, Corrective Services & Sports in Queensland said that this race will return. The Queensland government is absolutely committed to the race going forward. The Queensland State government has a five year contract for the event and for the Super V8′s. It will need to have an international flavor, so if the IRL does not return, there are other international series who already have their hands up for a chance.
The word keeps coming down that no decision will be announced regarding the future of IRL in Surfers until mid-November. Stay tuned.
1 RYAN BRISCOE/No.6 Team Penske
2 SCOTT DIXON/No.9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing
3 RYAN HUNTER-REAY/No.17 Rahal Letterman Racing
4 ALEX TAGLIANI/No.36 Conquest Racing
5 ORIOL SERVIA/No.5 KV Racing Technologies
6 #*E.J. VISO/No.33 HVM Racing
7 HELIO CASTRONEVES/No.3 Team Penske
8 #*HIDEKI MUTOH/No.27 Andretti Green Racing
9 *GRAHAM RAHAL/No.06 Newman Haas Lanigan Racing
10 #BUDDY RICE/No.15 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
11 #DAN WHELDON/No.4 Panther Racing
12 *JUSTIN WILSON/No.02 Newman Haas Lanigan Racing
13 #MARCO ANDRETTI/No.26 Andretti Green Racing
14 #VITOR MEIRA/No.14 A.J, Foyt Enterprises.
15 BRUNO JUNQUEIRA/No.18 Dale Coyne Racing
16 DARIO FRANCHITTI/No.10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing
17 #A.J. FOYT IV/Vision Racing
18 #DANICA PATRICK/No.7 Andretti Green Racing
19 #*JAIME CAMARA/Conquest Racing
20 #ED CARPENTER/No.20 Conquest Racing
21 TONY KANAAN/No.11 Andretti Green Racing
22 *WILL POWER/No.8 KV Racing Technologies
23 #TOWNSEND BELL/No.23 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
24 #*MARIO MORAES/No.19 Dale Coyne Racing
*=IRL 2008 ROOKIE