Indianapolis 500 winner Gil de Ferran won the Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville on Saturday, taking the lead on the 173rd lap during the sixth of eight caution periods in the 200-lap race.

Indianapolis 500 winner Gil de Ferran won the Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville on Saturday, taking the lead on the 173rd lap during the sixth of eight caution periods in the 200-lap race.


Scott Dixon achieved his initial goal of setting a third straight pole position to secure his fourth first place start in the last seven races on Friday. But the Team Target Panoz G Force Toyota driver from New Zealand had to settle for second place on Saturday. De Ferran’s team-mate, Helio Castroneves, finished third.


The Firestone Indy 200 was De Ferran's second victory of the year in the Marlboro Team Penske Dallara Toyota Firestone racer and moves him to second in the points chase, with 289 to Tony Kanaan's 303. This is also the 2003 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race winner's second appearance at the Nashville concrete oval, where he finished second last year. De Ferran led a total of 49 laps, second to Kanaan's 55 tours in the lead.


"This was a fantastic race and my car was fantastic right from the start," De Ferran said. "The car felt really good and even though I lost a few positions with a difficult first pit stop, after that everything went as well as I could have hoped for. The team got me out ahead on the last stop and today was really a team effort”.


Dixon took the lead and stayed in that position for a total of 20 laps, but got shuffled to the middle of the pack as different teams employed diverse strategies in the contest. By the close, his right rear tyre was in near shreds and the Kiwi had nothing left to challenge the Brazilian.


"I knew it would be hard to keep the car together," Dixon explained. Team Target gave me a strong car all night long. We did 86 laps on that last set of tyres. They hung in there, but we just didn't have enough to pass Gil (de Ferran) at the end. He had a strong car and drove a great race. We closed the gap on Tony (Kanaan) tonight and we're getting closer. We're trying to get more consistent with our finishes and I think we've done that tonight”.


His team-mate, Tomas Scheckter, started fifth but had to settle for a tenth after receiving a black flag penalty for speeding in the pitlane.


"It was a little bit of a disappointing night for us. We had a fast car, but that black flag penalty really hurt us. It put us to the back of the pack and we weren't able to get back up front,” said the South African.


“We just weren't able to get up front and challenge the leaders. I was really hoping for a better finish tonight with the Target car, but we'll keep on digging," he added.

Original article from Car