2007 IndyCar Series season

2007 IndyCar Series season

IndyCar seasons
year = 2007
races = 17
start_date = March 24
end_date = September 9
season_champ = flagicon|GBR Dario Franchitti
champ_team = flagicon|USA Andretti Green Racing
rookie_of_year = flagicon|USA Ryan Hunter-Reay
most_popular = flagicon|USA Danica Patrick
indy_winner = flagicon|GBR Dario Franchitti
previous = 2006
next = 2008
The 2007 Indy Racing League IndyCar Series season began with a night race on Saturday March 24 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The season's premiere event, the 91st Indianapolis 500 was held May 27. The season finale was held at Chicagoland Speedway on September 9. Dario Franchitti, who won four races during the season, including the Indy 500, clinched the 2007 IndyCar Series Championship on the final lap of the final race, by winning the race after points leader Scott Dixon ran out of fuel while leading with less than ⅓ of a lap to go.

At the conclusion of the season, Danica Patrick was voted Most Popular Driver for the third consecutive year.cite news
url =http://sports.yahoo.com/irl/news?slug=ap-irl-popularpatrick&prov=ap&type=lgns
title =Danica Patrick most popular IndyCar driver for 3rd straight year
publisher =Yahoo! Sports
date = 2007-09-13
accessdate = 2007-09-14

All races were televised on the ESPN family of networks. In addition, all races were broadcast live on the IMS Radio Network, and XM IndyCar Channel 145 and simulcast on XM Sports Nation.

The 2007 schedule was the twelfth season of the Indy Racing League, and part of the 96th recognized season of top-level American open wheel racing. It also marked A.J. Foyt's 50th anniversary of participation in IndyCar racing.

2007 IndyCar Series schedule

Round 2 of 17: Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

*Sunday April 1, 2007 - 2:30 p.m. EDT
*Streets of St. Petersburg - St. Petersburg, Florida (1.8 mile street/airport course)
*Distance: 100 laps / 180 miles
*Race weather: 79° F, sunny
*Television: ESPN - race advertised as Honda Indycar Grand Prix presented by XM Satellite Radio.
**Announcers: Marty Reid, Scott Goodyear, Jack Arute, Vince Welch, Brienne Pedigo
**Ratings: 0.6 national, 0.4 coverage area
*Attendance: 100,000+ (estimated weekend attendance) [http://www.sptimes.com/2007/04/02/Southpinellas/Decibel_levels__spiri.shtml]
*Pole position winner: Helio Castroneves- 1:01.6839, 105.052 mph (169.065 km/h)
*Race Summary: Pole winner Helio Castroneves led 95 of the 100 laps, holding off Scott Dixon for the win by 0.6007 seconds, the closest finish on a road circuit in IRL history. On the first lap, five cars were involved in a spin, including Tony Kanaan. In practice, Kanaan had crashed his qualified car, but the team made repairs so he could start in the 6th position rather than using a backup. The spin dropped him to the rear of the field. After a series of pit stops under yellow, Dan Wheldon took the lead. On a lap 35 restart, Castroneves bumped Wheldon from behind, and slipped by to take the lead for good. In the best run by a Foyt team in a few season, Darren Manning ran as high as third until a late spin dropped him to 13th. After the first lap spin, Tony Kanaan recovered to finish third.

=Round 5 of 17: 91st Indianapolis 500=

*Sunday May 27 - 1:00 p.m. EDT
*Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Speedway, Indiana (2.50 mile oval)
*Distance: 200 laps / 500 miles, although reduced to 166 laps / 415 miles, due to rain.
*Race weather: Overcast, with rain throughout the day, high 76 F.
*Television: ABC - race advertised as Indianapolis 500 broadcast presented by GoDaddy.com
**Announcers: Marty Reid, Scott Goodyear, Rusty Wallace, Jack Arute, Vince Welch, Brienne Pedigo, Jamie Little
**Ratings: 4.3/12
*Attendance: 251,000 (estimated based on track capacity)
*AAMCO Pole Award: Hélio Castroneves - 2:42.3336, 225.817 mph (363.417 km/h)
*Race Summary: Rain fell overnight, and in the morning, but the race started on-time as scheduled. In the early segments of the race, the competition was intense as Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan, Marco Andretti, and Scott Dixon all took their turn at the lead. After a caution period, with rain only a few miles away, a restart on lap 107 could have decided the winner. As the green came out, Tony Kanaan got the jump on Marco Andretti, and took the lead in turn 1. Moments later, Phil Giebler crashed, brining the yellow out once again. Before safety crews could clear the track, heavy rain fell, and the race was red flagged after lap 113. After nearly three hours, the race resumed, with Kanaan leading. On the 156th lap, the field went back to green after Marty Roth's crash, however, in turn four, Tony Kanaan came up on the back of Jacques Lazier, sending Lazier into the wall, and sending Kanaan's car into a spin. He blew a tire and coasted into the pits. Moments later, the field assembled for what was expected to be the final restart before the rains came. Franchitti, working lap 163, held the lead into the backstrech. Behind him, Marco Andretti tangled with Dan Wheldon, and Andretti's car flipped down the backstrech. Before the track could be cleared, a heavy rainstorm fell on the track, and the race was called after 166 laps with Dario Franchitti declared the winner.

Round 8 of 17: Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by Ethanol

*Sunday June 24 - 1:00 p.m. EDT
*Iowa Speedway - Newton, Iowa (0.894 mile oval)
*Distance: 250 laps / 223.5 miles
*Race weather: Cloudy, high humdity, 71 degrees
*Television: ABC - race advertised as Ethanol IndyCar 250
**Announcers: Marty Reid, Scott Goodyear, Jack Arute, Vince Welch, Brienne Pedigo
**Ratings: 1.2/3 (overnight rating); 1.1/3 final
*Attendance: over 35,000 (sold out)
*AAMCO Pole Award: #9 Scott Dixon 17.6486 sec, 182.360 mph (293.480 km/h)
*Race Summary: The first IndyCar Series race at the Iowa Speedway was one of attrition with several experienced drivers involved in incidents. First, Dan Wheldon spun, collecting Tomas Scheckter, although Wheldon was later able to return to the track over 100 laps down. Next, Tony Kanaan spun, collecting Jeff Simmons. The largest incident of the day come on a re-start with Ed Carpenter, Danica Patrick, A. J. Foyt IV and Dario Franchitti running four-wide down the front straight. Carpenter, Foyt, and Patrick made contact entering turn one and Kosuke Matsuura spun into the wall trying to miss them. The final 100 laps were more orderly with fewer cars on the track and Franchitti was able to hold off teammate Marco Andretti for his second victory of the season.

Round 11 of 17: Firestone Indy 200

*Sunday July 15 - 1:00 p.m. EDT, postponed from Saturday July 14 - 7:30 p.m. EDT due to rain
*Nashville Superspeedway - Lebanon, Tennessee (1.33 mile concrete oval)
*Distance: 200 laps / 266 miles
*Race weather: 90°F, Scattered clouds and showers
*Television: ESPN 2 (originally scheduled for ESPN)
**Announcers: Marty Reid, Scott Goodyear, Jack Arute, Vince Welch, Brienne Pedigo
**Ratings: 0.4 [ [http://www.autoracing1.com/hotnews.asp?dbegin=08/04/07&dend=08/08/07 Hot News Page] , AutoRacing1.com, 08-08-2007] [ [http://sportsmediawatch.blogspot.com/2007/08/racing-numbers-game.html Racing Numbers Game] , Sports Media Watch, 08-08-2007]
*Attendance: 25,000 ['Oreovicz, John', [http://sports.espn.go.com/rpm/columns/story?seriesId=1&columnist=oreovicz_john&id=2938721 Nashville race hampered by lack of second racing groove] , espn.com, 07-16-2007]
*AAMCO Pole Award: Scott Dixon 22.8947 sec 204.414 mph (328.972 km/h)
*Race Summary:

Round 14 of 17: Meijer Indy 300 presented by Coca-Cola and Edy's

*Saturday August 11 - 6:30 p.m. EDT
*Kentucky Speedway - Sparta, Kentucky (1.5 mile oval)
*Distance: 200 laps / 300 miles
*Race weather: 91°F Sunny
*Television: ABC
**Announcers: Marty Reid, Scott Goodyear, Jack Arute, Vince Welch, Brienne Pedigo
**Ratings: 0.6
*Attendance: 56,482 [ [http://sports.espn.go.com/rpm/news/story?series=1&id=2970619 ESPN - Kanaan keeps his cool all the way to fourth win of season - Open-Wheel ] ]
*AAMCO Pole Award: Tony Kanaan 24.4307 sec 218.086 mph (350.975 km/h)
*Race Summary: Starting from the pole for the first time since Kansas in April, the AGR car of Tony Kanaan led the opening 38 laps, right up to the first round of pitstops, under caution, after a crash on lap 36 involving Team Penske's Sam Hornish, Jr. & Ganassi's Dan Wheldon. Dario Franchitti would leapfrog his AGR team-mate on the pitstops, taking the lead on lap 39 for the restart on lap 44. Franchitti would lead until the second round of pitstops, under green flag conditions. Franchitti was the first to pit, on lap 91. This allowed Kanaan and Scott Dixon into the lead and second positions respectively. Both drivers would pit the following lap for their second pitstops. A. J. Foyt IV took the lead, and he would two laps, before pitting on lap 94. On the pitstops, Kanaan and Dixon had passed Franchitti, allowing them to be first and second, when everyone had made their pitstops. The race continued under green, until lap 126, when a caution was flown for debris in turn 3. Yellow-flag pitstops would occur, and a fast pitstop from the #9 crew allowed them, to lead for the restart on lap 132. Kanaan would pass Dixon the very next lap, and would hold the lead until the final round of pitstops. As Kanaan, Dixon and most of the other frontrunners pitted on lap 179, Foyt returned to the lead. As Foyt pitted on lap 181, the final yellow was flown, after an incident which began on pitlane. The AGR cars of Franchitti and Danica Patrick collided on pit entry, causing damage to Franchitti's right front wing endplate. He would need the nosecone replaced, but would not lose a lap. Meanwhile, Patrick was exiting pit road, and got on the power too early, causing her to spin. She would be bump-started by the Delphi safety crew. Next time by, still under caution, a tyre blew on the #7 car in turn 2, making her spin again, and narrowly avoided the safety crew. Foyt would lead the field to the restart on lap 190, but Kanaan was not to be denied, taking the lead for good on lap 191. Leading 131 of the 200 laps, the Brazilian won his 4th race of this season, and moved back into the championship running. Dixon finished 2nd, to further close on Franchitti's championship lead. The Scotsman, suffered his second backflip in a row, after hitting the #55 car of Kosuke Matsuura. He put all the blame on himself, saying that he thought the race was not over. He was the last of the cars on the lead lap, finishing in 8th, giving up 16 of his 24-point championship lead. Foyt finished a career-high 3rd, just holding off the final AGR car of Marco Andretti and his Vision Racing team-mate Tomas Scheckter.

Round 17 of 17: Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 presented by Mr. Clean

*Sunday September 9 - 3:30 p.m. EDT / 2:30 p.m. CDT
*Chicagoland Speedway - Joliet, Illinois (1.52 mile oval)
*Distance: 200 laps / 304 miles
*Race weather: 82°F, sunny
*Television: ABC
**Announcers: Marty Reid, Scott Goodyear, Jack Arute, Vince Welch, Brienne Pedigo
**Ratings: 0.9 [ [http://sportsmediawatch.blogspot.com/2007/09/weekend-ratings-predictions_14.html] , Sports Media Watch, 09-14-2007]
*AAMCO Pole Award: Dario Franchitti - 25.4931 seconds, 214.646 mph
*Race Summary: The final race of the season saw Dario Franchitti enter with a three-point lead over Scott Dixon in the championship chase. Tony Kanaan held third, the only other driver mathematically eligible for the title. Penske teammates Sam Hornish, Jr. and Helio Castroneves dominated most of the race, leading a combined 146 laps. Tony Kanaan saw his championship hopes go away early in the race when a flat tire forced an unscheduled pit stop. He would eventually finish 6th in the race. Single-car crashes by Marco Andretti and later Vitor Meira were the only significant on track incidents of the day. Meira's crash on lap 136 caused damage to the SAFER barrier, and a long 15-lap caution ensued as track workers repaired the barrier. It set up a dramatic fuel strategy, as both Franchitti and Dixon decided to pit to top off their tanks, and thus gamble on stretching their fuel to the end of the race. With the laps winding down, most of the leaders ducked into the pits for a quick fuel stops. That left Dixon leading, Franchitti second, and Danica Patrick third. Patrick headed for the pits on lap 195, but spun at the entrance, bringing out the caution. Both Dixon and Franchitti attempted to conserve fuel under the yellow, and prepared for a two-lap sprint to decide the race winner, and ultimately the season championship. The green came out with two laps to go, and the two battled side-by-side. On the final lap, entering turn three, Dixon ran out of fuel. Franchitti slipped by to take the lead, win the race, and clinch the 2007 IndyCar Series Championship title. With Franchitti reportedly heading to NASCAR, along with possibly Sam Hornish Jr., it marked what could be the final IndyCar Series race for the 2006 and 2007 Indianapolis 500 and IndyCar Series champions, respectively.

Bold - Pole
* - Most Laps Led (3 bonus points)
"Note:" Orange background signifies driver running for Bombardier Learjet Rookie of the Year.

*Ties in points broken by number of wins, or best finishes.


See also

*2007 in IPS
*2007 Champ Car World Series Season
*2007 Indianapolis 500
*2007 in NASCAR
*2007 in sports
*Indianapolis 500

External links

* [http://www.indycar.com Indy Racing League- official site]
* [http://www.indystar.com Indianapolis Star]

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