Substitute IRL driver Alex Barron won the Michigan 400 on Sunday despite colliding with South African Tomas Scheckter, who finished third in the race he won last year.
Substitute IRL driver Alex Barron won the Michigan 400 on Sunday despite colliding with South African Tomas
Scheckter, who finished third in the race he won last year.
Barron has been racing for Hollywood Mo Nunn Racing for the past two weeks, driving in place of Brazilian Felipe Giaffone, who broke his leg in an accident at Kansas City.
On Sunday, the American took the lead in the final turn to win in the fastest-ever average time in an IndyCar Series race. He also beat defending IRL champion Sam Hornish by a mere 0,121 seconds - the fourth-closest finish in the event.
Hornish led 126 laps and was shaping to break his winless drought, but Barron did not let up. In fact, Barron survived a spin when his car touched the Chip Ganassi Racing G-Force Toyota of pole-sitter Scheckter on lap 164.
The American kept his out-of-control car off the wall to stay in contention for the win after the final round of pit stops when caution was called for his spin: "I screamed into the radio that it (the collision) was Scheckter's fault. I came in under the caution and picked up new tires but I was still angry. At the restart I went into Turn 1 flat-out".
"There was a lot of luck involved with saving it after that hiccup," Barron, who had dropped to sixth before slicing his way through the field, added. "I got it turned in the right direction, and kept driving."
Scheckter added: "It was a great race. There were so many great cars out there, lots of 3-wide racing. Any one of 5 or 6 guys could have won the race today, but we had our best finish of the year and I'm happy about that. Sam (Hornish) and I had some great battles out there and I enjoy racing with him. He's a clean driver who gives you a lot of room on the track. We were close to another win today, but came up just a little bit short."
Meanwhile, Scheckter's team-mate, Scott Dixon of New Zealand, finished fifth and took over the series points lead on 318 points, one ahead of Brazil's Tony Kanaan and three in front of another Brazilian, Gil de Ferran.
Original article from Car