Kanaan Wins First Indy Race in 2 Years, at Iowa

A couple of weeks more and Tony Kanaan could have recorded 2 straight years of IndyCar racing without a single win in his pocket. Since his last victory at Richmond, the Brazilian driver was eager to show everyone in the series that he still has what it takes to win a race, and he eventually pulled it off during last weekend's event in Iowa.

The Andretti Autosport driver managed to hold off Team Penske's Helio Castroneves for the win – the latter was also in a big need of points after some disappointing last few races this season – and crossed the finish line mode than 4 seconds ahead of him, while Ernesto Viso scored his best finish to date in the IRL, in 3rd place.

For starters, it was Penske's Will Power who grabbed an early lead on Sunday, but only to let it go shortly after due to handling problems. The same issues were encountered by the next race leader Marco Andretti, who followed Power into slipping dramatically down the pack. That left the field open for Ganassi duo Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon, who both showed their intentions to race each other to the chequered flag.

Following a couple of pit stops, both drivers had a taste of the lead, until Sarah Fisher crashed out of the race and caused a caution. At that point, Andretti duo Tony Kanaan and Ryan Hunter-Reay decided they want a piece of the pie and sandwiched the two Ganassis, with the Brazilian passing Dixon for 2nd place and Hunter-Reay putting the pressure on the Australian driver 3rd place.

Kanaan and Franchitti swapped places in the lead plenty of times, while on their tales Takuma Sato was gaining some serious pace through traffic. The Japanese driver passed both Hunter-Reay and Dixon and was ready to challenge the leaders for a potential win, but failed miserable as he understeered and hit the wall.

That was the chance for everyone to make their final pit stop, with Kanaan emerging in 3rd place, behind Franchitti and Helio Castroneves (courtesy of some quick work from his Penske crew). Disaster struck for Franchitti only 43 laps to the finish line, when his gearbox broke down and he had to retire permanently.

That left Castroneves and Kanaan fighting for the win until the end. Although the Penske driver seemed to have had the edge over his compatriot in the final stages of the race, Kanaan did not hold back and eventually completed a wonderful surge, passing Castroneves with 10 laps to go. He eventually held on to that lead and won the race.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories