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Sunday, September 8
Updated: September 9, 6:13 PM ET
Fike outduels Luyendyk
JOLIET, Ill. -- The guys in the Indy Racing League aren't the only ones who can go wheel-to-wheel.
Aaron Fike beat Arie Luyendyk Jr. by 0.0755 seconds Sunday to win the Infiniti Pro Series' Chicagoland 100. The race followed the thrilling finish of the Delphi Indy 300, where Sam Hornish Jr. beat Al Unser Jr. by 0.0024 seconds after racing wheel-to-wheel for the last 22 laps.
''It was awesome,'' Fike said of his first series victory. ''I haven't had the year I expected to have. I just wanted to finish every race and that didn't really happen. We got caught up in some wrecks, and things happened. I'm just happy to be here in victory lane today.''
Look who's here
''I'm a race fan,'' said Junqueira, enjoying a weekend off before next week's CART race in England.
Although Ganassi ran a car in Sunday's race with Jeff Ward at the wheel, Junqueira said he was rooting for his fellow Brazilians. Six of the 25 starting drivers hail from Brazil.
On a more serious note, Junqueira, who is No. 2 in the CART point standings behind fellow Brazilian Cristiano da Matta, said he is waiting to see who he might drive for next year. His contract with Ganassi's team expires at the end of the year.
''Yeah, I'm looking,'' he said. ''Let's just see what's going to happen.''
John Barnes, co-owner of Panther Racing, announced Sunday that he will field a car in the Infiniti Pro Series next season. Mark Taylor of England, who has competed in British F3 the last two years, will be the driver.
''Many of you have seen our new shop, and there were areas that were getting cobwebs,'' Barnes said. ''So we had to put something in it.''
Pennzoil Panther has two cars in the Indy Racing League, driven by Sunday's Delphi Indy 300 winner Sam Hornish Jr. and Dan Wheldon.
The Pro Series, a developmental program for the IRL, is in its first season. Barnes said Panther has been interested in competing in the series since it was created, but he wanted to give it a year to get the kinks worked out.
So far, he's liked what he's seen.
''I really feel confident the program that they've got planned for next year is really going to take off,'' Barnes said. ''We view this deal as a feeder system for us.''
Taylor, 24, hopes to be in his car by December. He got his first look at an oval track in July.
The points leader in the Infiniti Pro Series worked as part of Airton Dare's pit crew in the IRL's Delphi Indy 300 on Sunday afternoon. Then he jumped in his own car and ran the Pro Series' Chicagoland 100. Foyt finished sixth.
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