Commentary

Wheldon's season continues to go into the tank

Kentucky notebook.

Updated: August 12, 2007, 12:03 AM ET
By John Schwarb | Special to ESPN.com

SPARTA, Ky. -- No one could accuse Dan Wheldon of driver error Saturday at the Meijer Indy 300, but it was another lost day nonetheless for the Target/Ganassi Racing No. 10.

Sam Hornish Jr. got loose off Turn 2 and spun through the start of the backstretch on Lap 36, just barely collecting Wheldon, who was trying to avoid him on the outside. Wheldon did a full spin, sailed through the infield grass and hit the inside retaining wall.

"It's just unfortunate. I think Sam got loose in Dario's [Franchitti] dirty air and spun. He just clipped me, barely," said Wheldon, who salvaged a 17th-place, second-to-last finish by going out for two laps late in the race.

Wheldon was widely accused of being at fault last week at Michigan for the contact that sent Franchitti flying and ultimately landing on Wheldon's teammate, Scott Dixon.

Kentucky marked the fifth time Wheldon has finished outside the top five. He hoped to rebound at Kentucky, where he had finished no worse than eighth in four previous races including two third-place finishes the last two years in which he also led the most laps.

Hornish, who won at Kentucky last year on the way to the championship, finished last after being unable to return his wrecked car to the track, unlike last week at Michigan where he turned a few more laps to salvage a ninth-place finish.

Career day for A.J.
Vision Racing's A.J Foyt IV finished third, a career-best. His previous best had been an eighth last week at Michigan, but Saturday his Dallara-Honda and team was even stronger.

"My team had amazing pit stops, that's what really got me up there," Foyt said. "We were always in the top seven, top six all day long."

Foyt led laps 182-190 but did not challenge the streaking Tony Kanaan as he passed on Lap 191 and held on the rest of the way for the win.

"Obviously Tony was very strong, so it wasn't really any holding him off. And then Scott [Dixon] snuck under me there coming off Turn 2 [on Lap 193]. Gave him just a little bit of room, and he did it," Foyt said.

"But it was good for us. I raced clean all day with everybody. No sense changing there at the end. It's just very good for the team."

Etc.
Kanaan's win was the 30th IndyCar Series victory for Andretti Green Racing, the most by any team. … Hideki Mutoh, who will drive an Indy car for Panther Racing at the season finale at Chicagoland, won the Indy Pro Series event from the pole, surviving a thrilling final lap in which he was three-wide briefly with points leader Alex Lloyd and Wade Cunningham. Lloyd picked up his third runner-up finish of the season to go along with his seven wins. &… Leilani Munter, the fourth woman to compete in the Indy Pro Series, crashed on Lap 40 of the 67-lap race and finished 16th.

John Schwarb is a freelance journalist covering motorsports and a contributor to ESPN.com. He can be reached at johnschwarb@yahoo.com.

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