INDYCAR SERIES Firestone Indy 200

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Dixon defends Nashville title, wins second straight Indy race

Jul 15, 2007 - 8:34 PM NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Scott Dixon made it two in a row at Nashville Superspeedway, winning Sunday's IndyCar Series Firestone Indy 200 from the pole.

A native of New Zealand, Dixon became the first repeat winner here, earning his eighth career victory and second in as many weeks. He also took the checkered flag at Watkins Glen last week.

Dixon lapped Nashville's 1 1/3-mile oval with an average speed of 164.030 miles per hour to climb within 34 points of series leader Dario Franchitti, who finished second.

"It's fantastic. It's exactly what we need," said Dixon who took home the first prize of $141,400. "It's been a tough season, especially the start of it. This is what we need for the championship chase against Dario. He had a strong day and was very competitive out there."

Danica Patrick placed third to match her best career finish. The series starlet also finished third at Texas on June 9.

Dixon overcame a caution with 13 laps to go to hold off Franchitti and cut 13 points off the Scot's advantage in the standings. The yellow flag flew when Japan's Kosuke Matsuura and Jeff Simmons were involved in an accident.

Prior to that, Dixon - who led 105 laps - was in control throughout the majority of the race after taking the lead from Franchitti on lap 88.

"The Canadian Club car had a good start and got by Scott right away," Franchitti said. "We were happy up front there. Then we had lapped traffic three-wide in front of us and that was it. Scott got a good run on us and passed us."

With Franchitti and Britain's Dan Wheldon battling side-by-side, Dixon made a move on the bottom of the track and made the three-wide pass to take the lead.

"I think the other guys just got caught up a bit," Dixon said. "To be honest, our car just seemed to get stronger throughout the race. I think we were better in traffic."

The race was run under caution for 13 laps, restarting at lap 109 after a rain delay.

The 200-lap event originally was scheduled for Saturday night, but heavy rainfall postponed the start of the race until Sunday. It marked the first time an IndyCar Series event was postponed by rain since June 2000 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Tony Kanaan crashed while trying to get around lapped traffic just 36 laps in, and finished last. That dropped the Brazilian to fourth in the standings, 103 points behind Franchitti.

Wheldon, who finished eighth, moved up to third, six points ahead of Kanaan.

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