A late-race caution period ruined Capetonian Tomas Scheckter’s chances of victory in the Delphi Indy 300, but it allowed Sam Hornish to pip Scott Dixon to the flag – by 0,0099 seconds.

A late-race caution period ruined Capetonian Tomas Scheckter’s chances of victory in the Delphi Indy 300, but it allowed Sam Hornish to pip Scott Dixon to the flag – by 0,0099 seconds.


The defending IRL champion is making a late bid to take his third straight IndyCar Series title. Hornish rode his luck at the 1,5-mile banked Chicagoland Superspeedway oval and at the end of 200 dramatic laps, he was marginally ahead of Dixon. Dixon, in turn, was just 0,001 ahead of third-placed Bryan Herta at the flag.


This result was the Indy Racing League's closest 1-2-3 finish in history, and the second-fastest race ever held, with an average speed of 296,5924 km/h. There were 20 lead changes among eight drivers and 13 cars finished on the lead lap with only two drivers failing to complete the 200-lap dogfight.


"All along I was staying in line and trying to save fuel," Hornish said. "We were able to take a late pit stop (he went 66 laps between stops) and get back up to the front. It was pretty exciting," said Hornish, who prefers to drive at the high side of banked tracks like Chicagoland.


Scheckter’s team-mate, Dixon, thought it was a "pretty rough day out there. We were a bit slow on a couple of stops and I was told to stay back and conserve fuel" as well. "It was a shame about the final yellow," called when point leader Helio Castroneves lost power on the back straight on lap 187. "We were all running so close it was pretty dicey out there, going three-wide.


"I couldn't see where Sam was (on the last lap)," Dixon said, "so I looked behind me into turn 3 to make sure no one had a good run on me. Sam seems to get on the outside a lot. He's cheating," Dixon laughed. Hornish's response? "If you're gonna cheat to win by a couple of inches, you may as well cheat to win by a mile."


It was Herta's third straight third-placed finish and, while he was overjoyed by the first one (at Kentucky Speedway), today the Californian was "relieved. We had an electronics problem early in the race and I had to switch to a different ignition. I was 16th at that point and had to claw my way back up front. I thought Sam won but I wasn't sure where Scott and I finished. He (Hornish) sure was working well on the outside line."


Herta's team-mate, British rookie Dan Wheldon, took fourth today and led 32 laps. "I had a good car all day and we were very good in traffic. I could work with the car and with other people around me, so that made it comfortable."


Despite leading the most laps, 76, and heading the field before the final caution period, Scheckter had to settle for fifth place. "It's been like that all year long for us. We had another dominant car but Lady Luck wasn't on our side," he said.

Original article from Car