Sunday, June 13, 2004

Kanaan holds off Franchitti

Auto racing notebook

The Associated Press

FORT WORTH, Texas - Tony Kanaan regained the lead with 12 laps left and held off teammate Dario Franchitti to win the IndyCar Series race Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway.

Though the race missed the 220-mph speeds and much of the three-wide racing that had become characteristic at the 1 1/2-mile, high-banked track, Kanaan won with a last dash.

One lap after a restart from the caution that knocked Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice out of the race, Kanaan overtook another Andretti Green teammate, Dan Wheldon.

Wheldon and Penske driver Helio Castroneves had been 1-2 on the restart, but both were trying to make it the last 72 laps without a stop. They didn't have enough fuel to keep up the pace or finish the race.

Kanaan went flying by Wheldon and was joined by polesitter Franchitti soon after the green flag as Castroneves quickly dropped four spots. They stayed 1-2 the rest of the race, the margin of victory being a quarter of a second.

It was the second win of the season for Kanaan and third in the IRL. He took over the series points lead (210-175) over Wheldon. Kanaan led 145 of 150 laps and finished with an average speed of 153.965 mph.

FORMULA ONE: It's going to be a lot harder for Michael Schumacher to win the Canadian Grand Prix this time. The six-time Formula One champion and six-time winner on Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve will start sixth in today's race.

Schumacher will go after his third straight win in Montreal and fourth in the last five years. To get it done, though, the Ferrari star will have to chase down younger brother Ralf, the record-setting pole-winner.

Michael has won six of the first seven races this season and has a 60-46 point lead over teammate Rubens Barrichello.

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