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Saturday, May 1, 2010

IndyCar Race Review: Road Runner Turbo Indy 300

Last year, Chip Ganassi Racing won two of the first three races of the IZOD IndyCar Series season, on its way to dominance of the series' oval races and a second consecutive championship. This year, however, Ganassi came out of the gate slowly, failing to win any of the four road course races in the first quarter of the season. Meanwhile, key rival Team Penske won three of four.

Today at Kansas, however, Ganassi began to return to form.

Scott Dixon, who would have won the series' oval championship had it been awarded last year, took his first victory of the season in the Road Runner Turbo Indy 300. Teammate Dario Franchitti contributed to a 1-2 sweep for sponsor Target and owner Chip Ganassi. Tony Kanaan passed Penske's Helio Castroneves for third.

Penske driver Ryan Briscoe won the pole and led 31 laps, but fell to sixth at the checkered flag, the last driver on the lead lap. Dixon dominated the majority of the race, leading 167 laps after starting alongside Briscoe on Row 1. Franchitti, the only other driver to lead in the 200-lap event, led the remaining two laps.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, the winner at Long Beach and looking to sponsorship to help him complete the season, made yet another strong case for continued employment. He finished 5th after starting all the way back in 22nd.

Among the drivers with surprising top-ten runs are seventh place Mario Moraes, eighth place Alex Tagliani, and ninth place John Andretti. Moraes, picking up where he left off last season, passed Tagliani on the last lap. Andretti ran his first open-wheel race other than the Indianapolis 500 in nearly two decades, and improved eight spots from his qualifying position.

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