Dixon, Kanaan left frustrated after reliability woes end win hopes in Iowa

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Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan were left frustrated after issues on their cars ended their hopes of winning the Iowa Corn 300 on Saturday night.

After qualifying second at Iowa Speedway behind compatriot Helio Castroneves, Kanaan moved into the lead of the race ahead of the first round of pit stops with Dixon in tow.

The duo had put on a show under the lights at Texas Motor Speedway at the beginning of June when Dixon headed up a Chip Ganassi Racing one-two.

However, a repeat result failed to materialize on Saturday. After falling behind Josef Newgarden at the front, Kanaan was forced to bring his car into the pits on lap 190 and switch off due to a suspected engine issue.

The Brazilian was far from impressed, throwing his helmet down in frustration, but admitted after the race that there was little more he could have done.

“I guess it just wasn’t meant to be for us here today,” Kanaan said. “The Fusion car was really awesome and we had a really fast car all weekend.

“When mechanical problems happen, there’s not much you can do.

“I’ve had a ton of these races go my way, and a ton that haven’t gone my way. There’s just not much you can do in that situation.”

Ganassi’s fortunes took another turn for the worse 40 laps later when Dixon dropped back after fighting for second place with eventual winner Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Dixon crawled back to the pits, and after a failed attempt to get his car going again, the team was forced to take him back to the garage for repairs.

Remarkably, he was sent back out 27 laps later, allowing him to finish the race in 18th place and post the fastest lap.

“I think we had a really fast car this weekend,” Dixon said. “The Target car was good and in the top three, and I thought it was a contender all night.

“We had to overcome some challenges during the race but we stuck with it. We made a ton of changes and were really trying to just keep up with the track all night.”

Dixon had the chance to slash Juan Pablo Montoya’s lead at the top of the drivers’ championship following the Colombian’s early retirement, but remains 48 points behind with three races remaining.

“I thought we were getting a break with Montoya going out early, and then we had a weird problem with the right rear axle,” he said.

“The Target team did a great job getting us back out and that’s all you can ask for in that situation.”

It wasn’t all doom and gloom for Ganassi in Iowa, though, as Sage Karam scored his maiden IndyCar podium following a spirited battle with Ed Carpenter in the closing stages of the race.

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 3 p.m. to USA Network.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III