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Indy Racing League

Sunday, June 15

Scheckter ends up eighth
Associated Press

Tomas Scheckter
FOUNTAIN, Colo. -- A minor accident in the pits had a major effect on Tomas Scheckter in the Honda Indy 225 on Sunday.

Scheckter had the lead when he pitted on the 92nd lap and collided with Felipe Giaffone.

Giaffone pulled out of his pit and tapped tires with the incoming Scheckter, who then was required to make another lap before pitting.

Scheckter, who finished eighth, was angry about the collision.

"Unfortunately, there is no courtesy in the pit lane anymore," Scheckter said. "They let Giaffone go straight in front of me just as I was turning in. We could have won the race today. I'm glad for my teammate (Scott Dixon) that he won, but we could have been maybe 1-2.

"It's tough when you go a lap down. It's such a tough track, and there is not a lot of pitting. It really threw us off."

Scheckter called the incident "ridiculous."

"He wanted to try and get ahead of me," Scheckter said. "I really get irritated when I talk about it."

Giaffone also was penalized by the incident.

He left the pits with the vent hose still attached to his car and was assessed a drive-through penalty. It started a fire in the pits that engulfed crew member Sam Goldsmith, but he was uninjured.

"There was a mix-up about whether to go," Giaffone said. "One of the guys tells me to go and then I was told to stay. Too bad for Scheckter. He had nothing to do with the whole thing."

But one other driver insisted that Scheckter was not blameless Sunday.

"Scheckter came out of the pits right in front of me," Tony Kanaan said of a different incident. "What goes around, comes around. He's going to find me one day."

Chevy's best
Sam Hornish Jr. posted the highest finish for a Chevrolet-powered car this season on the IRL circuit, taking fifth. At several times during the race, he appeared to be the fastest car on the track.

"I think preparation is the biggest factor," Hornish said. "Chevrolet has been working real hard to find some extra stuff and I think they have. But I also think it's us knowing this track and knowing what we have to do to be competitive.

"I think if we had had a couple more laps, I might have gotten by maybe one or two more cars. It's the best finish of the year for us, so we're happier than we've been all year."

Fast healer
In his first race since breaking his back in a motorcycle accident on April 2, Dario Franchitti acquitted himself well.

Franchitti, sidelined the last 10 weeks, finished fourth.

"It was hard out there," he said. "With the amount of downforce on these cars, it gave me a great workout. This is a good way to come back after being out of the car for 10 weeks. It's something to build on."

Replacing Marlboro
Team Penske chief Roger Penske will need a new major sponsor when the team loses Marlboro, and he's already targeting a successor.

"I will be making a proposal to a major sponsor in New York (Monday)," Penske said. "I can't divulge who it is. We've had a great sponsor, and we've got to fill it in."

Mike and Jen
Several father-son combinations were working in the pits on Father's Day.

George Franchitti, father of Dario Franchitti, gave the water bottle to his son during pit stops.

Five sets of fathers and children also worked for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, including fuel buckeye man Dave Fisher and his daughter, driver Sarah Fisher.

Team manager John O'Gara works with his son, tire changer Andy; pit board operator Owen Snyder II worked with his son, engineer Owen III; tire specialist Mark Taliaferro Sr. is accompanied by his son, tire specialist Mark Jr.; and deadman-valve operator Paul Franzosi works with his son, crew chief Brian.

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