Destination Auto Racing

Nascar / Indy Racing League / Formula One / Nhra

September 26, 2005|By Peter Blair

Wheldon gets title; Dixon earns victory

Dan Wheldon finally got to celebrate his first Indy Racing League League title. Scott Dixon simply was happy to finally celebrate a win.

Dixon gained the lead with 12 laps to go at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International and won the inaugural IRL Indy Grand Prix for his first victory since he won at Richmond in 2003 en route to the series championship, a span of 40 races. Wheldon, a 27-year-old Englishman, secured the title when the third and final road race on the IRL schedule became official at the halfway point.

Formula One Brazilian Grand Prix -- Fernando Alonso became the circuit's youngest champion by finishing third in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The 24-year-old Spaniard needed only a top-three finish in a race won by Juan Pablo Montoya of McLaren-Mercedes. Kimi Raikkonen, Montoya's teammate and the only other driver in contention for the championship, finished second on the 2.6-mile circuit.

Champ Car World Series -- Sebastien Bourdais, the reigning series champion, overcame a controversial crash with Paul Tracy and a brush with a teammate to win the Champ Car Hurricane Relief 400 in Las Vegas late Saturday and extend his points lead with three races left. Tracy came from a 14th-place start to pass pole-sitter Bourdais on the seventh lap and held the lead under pressure from Bourdais until the French driver tapped him from behind as Tracy braked to pit on Lap 123, sending the leader hard into the wall.

NASCAR

NEXTEL CUP

UAW-Ford 500

Site -- Talladega, Ala.

When, TV -- Sunday, 1:30 p.m., Ch. 11

Track -- Talladega Superspeedway (2.66-mile tri-oval)

Distance -- 188 laps, 500 miles

Last year -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 78 laps on his way to winning the EA Sports 500. Late in the race, Earnhardt fell behind when he pitted for right-side tires. In the last five laps, he charged from 11th place to a victory and vaulted himself into second place in the series standings, 12 points behind Kurt Busch. Jeff Gordon, who entered the weekend with the points lead, finished 19th to fall to third in the standings.

Drivers to watch -- Points leader Jimmie Johnson was also atop the season standings when the series last raced at Talladega in April. Gordon dominated that race, leading 139 of the 194 laps and winning the Aaron's 499 in overtime. Busch and Dale Jarrett have posted top-10 finishes in the past two Talladega races.

Quotable -- "We have reached a point where enough is enough. What that means is that if we see things continue in the direction we've seen the past two or three weeks, then we will continue to ramp up our reaction to be more severe." - NASCAR president Mike Helton, on what will happen if recent driver misconduct continues at Talladega.

INDY

RACING LEAGUE

Idle

Next race -- Toyota Indy 400

Site -- Fontana, Calif.

When -- Oct. 16

CHAMP CAR

WORLD SERIES

Idle

Next race -- World Grand Prix of Ansan

Site -- Ansan, South Korea

When -- Oct. 16

FORMULA

ONE

Idle

Next race -- Japanese Grand Prix

Site -- Suzuka, Japan

When -- Oct. 9

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