2008 IndyCar Series season

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2008 IndyCar season
Indycar series directv.png
Season
Races 19
Start date March 29
End date October 26
Awards
Drivers' champion New Zealand Scott Dixon
Teams' champion United States Chip Ganassi Racing
Rookie of the Year Japan Hideki Mutoh
Indianapolis 500 winner New Zealand Scott Dixon
Chronology
Previous season Next season
2007 (ICS)
2007 (CCWS)
2009

The 2008 IndyCar Series season was the 13th season of the IndyCar Series.[1] Its premier event was the 92nd Indianapolis 500 on May 25. The first race was held March 29, at Homestead. It was the 97th recognized season of top-level American open wheel racing.

All races were televised on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, or ESPN Classic. All IndyCar Series broadcasts continued to utilize the popular Side-By-Side format in their first year of HD broadcasts. Races were also broadcast on the IMS Radio Network and XM.

On February 26, 2008, the managements of IRL and Champ Car came to an agreement to become one entity. The move effectively ended a twelve-year split and reunited American open wheel racing.[2][3]

2008 IndyCar Series schedule[edit]

Rnd Date Race Name Track Location
1 March 29 United States GAINSCO Auto Insurance Indy 300 Homestead-Miami Speedway Homestead, Florida
2 April 6 United States Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Streets of St. Petersburg St. Petersburg, Florida
3 A April 20 Japan Indy Japan 300 (see below) Twin Ring Motegi Motegi, Japan
B April 20 United States Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (see below) Streets of Long Beach Long Beach, California
4 April 27 United States RoadRunner Turbo Indy 300 Kansas Speedway Kansas City, Kansas
5 May 25 United States 92nd Indianapolis 500 Indianapolis Motor Speedway Speedway, Indiana
6 June 1 United States ABC Supply Company A.J. Foyt 225 The Milwaukee Mile West Allis, Wisconsin
7 June 7 United States Bombardier Learjet 550 Texas Motor Speedway Fort Worth, Texas
8 June 22 United States Iowa Corn Indy 250 Iowa Speedway Newton, Iowa
9 June 28 United States SunTrust Indy Challenge Richmond International Raceway Richmond, Virginia
10 July 6 United States Camping World Watkins Glen Grand Prix Watkins Glen International Watkins Glen, New York
11 July 12 United States Firestone Indy 200 Nashville Superspeedway Lebanon, Tennessee
12 July 20 United States Honda 200 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Lexington, Ohio
13 July 26 Canada Rexall Edmonton Indy Edmonton City Centre Airport Edmonton, Alberta
14 August 9 United States Meijer Indy 300 Kentucky Speedway Sparta, Kentucky
15 August 24 United States Peak Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County Infineon Raceway Sonoma, California
16 August 31 United States Detroit Indy Grand Prix presented by Firestone The Raceway on Belle Isle Park Detroit, Michigan
17 September 7 United States Peak Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy 300 Chicagoland Speedway Joliet, Illinois
NC October 26 Australia Nikon Indy 300 Surfers Paradise Street Circuit Surfers Paradise, Australia
  Oval/Speedway
  Road Course/Street Circuit
  Non-championship race

3B - The race at Long Beach was the last event sanctioned by Champ Car World Series. Points were awarded for the 2008 IndyCar Series championship to those drivers and teams which moved to the IndyCar Series under the open wheel racing unification agreement between the owners of CCWS and the IRL.

Schedule details[edit]

  • The original official 16-race schedule was announced September 19, 2007.[4] On February 26, 2008, it was announced that former Champ Car events at Long Beach, Edmonton, and Australia would be added to the 2008 schedule.[5]
  • An unresolvable scheduling conflict occurred between Motegi and Long Beach. Existing IndyCar teams competed in the Indy Japan 300, while some of the former Champ Car teams raced at Long Beach using their 2007 Panoz DP01 chassis. Both races counted toward the 2008 title.
  • All times are EDT and are subject to change.[6]
  • Race names and sponsors are subject to change
  • The Indy Japan 300 was scheduled for 12:00 a.m. EDT, but was delayed to 10:00 p.m. EDT. Persistent "weepers" due to earlier rain delayed the race a day in Japan.
  • The Edmonton race was moved to Saturday instead of Sunday to avoid clash with the NASCAR Allstate 400 at the Brickyard; the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has an agreement not to hold IRL races directly against the NASCAR race at their circuit.
  • The Richmond race has been extended by 50 laps (37.5 miles), turning it from a 250-lap race to 300 laps.

Team and Driver Chart[edit]

Team Chassis Engine No Drivers Sponsor(s) Notes
United States Team Penske Dallara Honda 3 Brazil Helio Castroneves Kodak/Mobil 1/BOSS/MasterCraft/Bosch Both cars appear with unbranded Marlboro colors and logos in accordance with the MSA. No. 77 car who would drove by Sam Hornish, Jr. was also entered for the Indy 500 but did not appear due to Hornish's NASCAR concentration.
6 Australia Ryan Briscoe
United States Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara Honda 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon Target/Fujifilm/Polaroid  
10 United Kingdom Dan Wheldon  
United Kingdom Dario Franchitti Surfers Paradise only[7]
United States Andretti Green Racing Dallara Honda 7 United States Danica Patrick Motorola/XM  
11 Brazil Tony Kanaan 7-Eleven  
26 United States Marco Andretti NYSE/Meijer/Gillette/Blockbuster The car was painted with Indiana Jones warpaint at Indianapolis and Milwaukee. It was painted with Star Wars: The Clone Wars warpaint at Infineon.
27 Japan Hideki Mutoh (R) Panasonic/Formula Dream
United States Rahal Letterman Racing Dallara Honda 16 United Kingdom Alex Lloyd Wii Fit Indy 500 only; run in conjunction with Chip Ganassi Racing
17 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay Ethanol Promotion and Information Council
United States Panther Racing Dallara Honda 4 Brazil Vitor Meira National Guard/Delphi The No. 83 car was also entered for the Indy 500 but did not appear
United Kingdom Dan Wheldon Surfers Paradise only[8]
United States A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara Honda 14 United Kingdom Darren Manning ABC Supply Company  
Brazil Vitor Meira Surfers Paradise only
41 United States Jeff Simmons Indy 500 only
France Franck Perera (R) Chicagoland only[9]
United States Vision Racing Dallara Honda 2 United States A. J. Foyt IV Eli Lilly  
20 United States Ed Carpenter Menards  
22 United States Davey Hamilton HP Indy 500 only[10]
22 Canada Paul Tracy Subway/Edmonton.com Edmonton only; run in conjunction with Walker Racing[11]
United States Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara Honda 15 United States Buddy Rice Jordache/Operation Homefront/Express Auto Delivery/Roll Coater
23 Venezuela Milka Duno Citgo Duno (11 races), Bell (6 races)[12]
United States Townsend Bell William Rast/Emu Australia/Rigid Building Systems
99 United States Townsend Bell William Rast In addition to Bell's six races in the No. 23, he ran the Indy 500 in the #99.
United States Roth Racing Dallara Honda 24 United Kingdom Jay Howard (R) All Sport Ran first 4 races and Watkins Glen
United States John Andretti 1-800-LAS-VEGAS Drove at Indy 500, Milwaukee, Texas, Iowa, and Richmond
25 Canada Marty Roth LIDS/Men's Warehouse Skipped Watkins Glen
United States KV Racing Technology Dallara Honda 5 Spain Oriol Servià Plantronics/CDW/Wall Street Journal/Angie's List
8 Australia Will Power (R) Aussie Vineyards/Smart & Final
United States Conquest Racing Dallara Honda 34 Brazil Jaime Camara (R) Sangari Perera raced first 3 races, replaced by Camara for rest of season[13]
France Franck Perera (R) Opes Prime Group/Ares
36 Brazil Enrique Bernoldi (R) Sangari Tagliani replaced Bernoldi in the final three races due to injury[14]
Canada Alex Tagliani Ubisoft/Sennheiser/Sangari
United States Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing Dallara Honda 02 United Kingdom Justin Wilson (R) McDonald's[15]
06 United States Graham Rahal (R) Rexall/Hole in the Wall Camps
United States Dale Coyne Racing Dallara Honda 18 Brazil Bruno Junqueira Z-Line Designs
19 Brazil Mario Moraes (R) Sonny's Real Pit Bar-B-Q
United States HVM Racing Dallara Honda 33 Venezuela E. J. Viso (R) PDVSA Former Minardi Team USA in Champ Car. Ran all races with the exception of Nashville (illness).
Part-time entries
United States Luczo Dragon Racing Dallara Honda 12 South Africa Tomas Scheckter Symantec Kansas, Indy 500, Texas, Infineon, Detroit, and Chicagoland only.
United States Rubicon Race Team Dallara Honda 44 Italy Max Papis LifeLock Indy 500 Only – Failed to qualify
United States Sarah Fisher Racing Dallara Honda 67 United States Sarah Fisher Dollar General/text4cars.com Indy 500, Kentucky, and Chicagoland only[16]
United States CURB/Agajanian/Beck Motorsports/Wellman Racing Dallara Honda 77 United States Roger Yasukawa Interush Motegi Only[17]
98 Curb Records/hhgregg/Real Power Indy 500 only[17] – Failed to qualify
United States American Dream Motorsports Panoz Honda 88 United States Phil Giebler Gardner Trucking Indy 500 only – practiced for Indy but wrecked and failed to make a qualifying attempt; formerly Playa Del Racing.
United States Hemelgarn Johnson Racing Dallara Honda 91 United States Buddy Lazier LifeLock, MDA Indy 500 only
United States Pacific Coast Motorsports Dallara Honda 96 Mexico Mario Domínguez (R) Mexico City Tourism Board Ran at Long Beach and planned to run full-time starting at Indy[18] (DNQ), but a team re-evaluation after Texas prompted a road/street course focus. Ran four subsequent races: Watkins Glen, Mid-Ohio, Edmonton, and Infineon.
United States PDM Racing Panoz Honda TBA TBA TBA Indy 500 only – did not appear
Long Beach only entries[19]
United States Forsythe/Pettit Racing Panoz Cosworth 3 Canada Paul Tracy INDECK
7 France Franck Montagny INDECK
37 Mexico David Martínez INDECK [20]
United States Minardi Team USA/HVM Racing Panoz Cosworth 4 France Nelson Philippe Muermans Group
14 Brazil Roberto Moreno Muermans Group
United States Rocketsports Panoz Cosworth 9 Brazil Antônio Pizzonia Borla Exhaust
10 Finland Juho Annala Pulp Agency/Rockstar Energy Drink
United States KV Racing Technology Panoz Cosworth 12 United States Jimmy Vasser Plantronics/HP [21]
United States Walker Racing Panoz Cosworth 15 Canada Alex Tagliani CEC Wheels
United States Pacific Coast Motorsports Panoz Cosworth 29 United States Alex Figge Imperial Capital Bank
  • All entries utilize Firestone tires
  • On March 5, the IRL announced that former Champ Car teams would be paired with current IndyCar teams to aid their transition.[22]

Series news[edit]

  • PEAK will be the official oil product of the Indy Racing League for some IndyCar teams except Team Penske with Mobil 1.[23]
  • DirecTV will be the IndyCar Series presenting sponsor.[24]
  • Coca-Cola will be the official soft drink sponsor of the IndyCar Series through 2010.[25]
  • Raybestos will be the preferred competition brake friction through 2009, and sponsor the Raybestos Road and Street Course Challenge, awarding $5,000 to the winner of each road/street course race and $25,000 to the driver with the highest average finish on road and street courses at the end of the season.[26]
  • Izod has signed a multi-year deal to be the official clothing supplier of the IndyCar Series[27]

Schedule development[edit]

  • The Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will return through at least 2013. This was announced April 6, 2008.[28]
  • The Milwaukee Mile will host the race the weekend immediately following the Indy 500 through at least 2009.[29]
  • Michigan International Speedway has been removed from the schedule for 2008.[30]
  • Iowa Speedway has been renewed through 2009.[31]
  • Texas Motor Speedway signed a two-year contract extension through 2009.[32]
  • Detroit will be held August 31, 2008, part of Labor Day weekend along with ALMS.[33]
  • Mid-Ohio signed a three-year deal through 2009.[34]
  • The following were reported possibilities for schedule expansion in 2008. However, none were part of the official announcement on September 19,.
    • Following a feasibility test in September 2006, and an open test on January 31, – February 1, 2007, the IndyCar Series is still considering Daytona International Speedway.[35]
    • The IndyCar Series is exploring the possibility of holding new races at Biloxi, Sepang, Palm Springs, and Denver.[36]
    • A possible event has been considered at Rockingham Speedway in North Carolina.[37] The track was auctioned off on October 2, 2007, and was purchased by former Indy 500 starter Andy Hillenburg, who promptly reopened the track that held an ARCA race May 4, 2008.
    • A return to Phoenix is under consideration. It appears questionable for 2009.[38]
    • A replacement for Michigan was to be announced by the league to maintain a 17-race schedule. League officials had confirmed only that it would be in the United States, and would be a new venue[39] in California.[40][41] Rumors suggested a street circuit at Dodger Stadium.[42] It never came to fruition.
    • On October 12, 2007, the IndyCar Series conducted an open test at Barber Motorsports Park. Track officials indicated they are exploring a race for 2009.[43]

Unification with Champ Car[edit]

On January 23, 2008, Robin Miller reported that Tony George had offered to Champ Car management a proposal that included free cars and engine leases to Champ Car teams willing to run the entire 2008 IndyCar Series schedule in exchange for adding Champ Car's dates at Long Beach, Toronto, Edmonton, Mexico City, and Australia to the IndyCar Series schedule, effectively reuniting American open wheel racing.[44] The offer was initially made in November 2007.[44] On February 10, 2008, Tony George, along with IRL representatives Terry Angstadt and Brian Barnhart, plus former Honda executive Robert Clarke, traveled to Japan to discuss moving the Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi.[45] Moving that race, or postponing it, would be required in order to accommodate the Long Beach Grand Prix, which is scheduled for the same weekend.[45] Optimism following the meeting was high.[46]

On February 19, 2008, Robin Miller reported on SPEED[2] and Curt Cavin blogged on IndyStar.com[47] that the managements of Indy Racing League and Champ Car have come to an agreement to become one entity. The move would effectively end a 12-year split and reunite American Open Wheel racing. Meanwhile, Brian Barnhart announced that Tony George is negotiating the unification, and an inventory of available IndyCar chassis and equipment for the Champ Car teams is underway.[47] On February 22, Cavin initially reported that no deal had been reached between the IRL and CCWS in a lengthy dinner meeting between George and CCWS president Kevin Kalkhoven the previous evening. Later in the day, however, it was reported that the merger deal had been completed, confirmed by George, and that it would be formally announced at a press conference the following week.[48]

Driver & Team news[edit]

Rule changes[edit]

  • Full-time IndyCar Series entries will begin utilizing mandatory paddle shifters in 2008. Paddle shifters for Indianapolis 500-only entries will be optional.[41]
  • The cars will be fitted with a "Zylon" synthetic-fiber intrusion barrier.[41]
  • For the oval track events, qualifying will change from single-lap to four-lap average speed, similar to that used at Indianapolis in most years since 1920.[63]
  • Fuel mixture adjustment control will be reinstated for 2008.[63]
  • Due to the added cars brought by unification, the road and street course qualifying procedure will be altered to a knockout qualifying format, beginning with a pair of preliminary sessions, each composed of half of the field, the six fastest drivers from each preliminary session will go to a third session and the six fastest drivers from that session will compete for the pole in the Firestone Fast Six.[64]

Revenue sharing[edit]

In an effort to enhance full-time participation, the IndyCar Series announced a revenue sharing plan entitled IndyCar TEAM (Team Enhancement and Allocation Matrix) for 2008.[65] The details are as follows:

  • Teams will receive a minimum of US$1.2 million for each car competing in the full schedule.
  • Race purses will be eliminated for all events except for the Indianapolis 500.
  • The top five finishers in each race are eligible for special cash bonuses.
  • The total purse for the 2008 Indianapolis 500 will increase with the winner receiving US$2.5 million, 33rd place paying no less than $270,000. Indy-only entries will be eligible for the $270,000 minimum along with the full-season entries. The entire race purse will total at least US$13.4 million, not including contingency awards.[66] In 2007, race winner Dario Franchitti received $1,645,233, and last place Roberto Moreno won $224,805.[67]
  • The season champion will win $1 million, as has been in seasons' past. Second through fifth in the season championship will be eligible for cash bonuses.

Testing[edit]

The following open tests were held:

Race results[edit]

  Non-championship race


Rnd Race Pole position Fastest lap Most Laps Led Winner Winning team Report
1 United States Homestead New Zealand Scott Dixon Australia Ryan Briscoe United States Marco Andretti New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Target Chip Ganassi Racing Report
2 United States St. Petersburg Brazil Tony Kanaan Brazil Tony Kanaan United States Graham Rahal United States Graham Rahal United States Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing Report
3A Japan Motegi Brazil Hélio Castroneves Brazil Hélio Castroneves New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Danica Patrick United States Andretti Green Racing Report
3B United States Long Beach United Kingdom Justin Wilson Brazil Antônio Pizzonia Australia Will Power Australia Will Power United States KV Racing Report
4 United States Kansas New Zealand Scott Dixon New Zealand Scott Dixon New Zealand Scott Dixon United Kingdom Dan Wheldon United States Target Chip Ganassi Racing Report
5 United States Indianapolis New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Marco Andretti New Zealand Scott Dixon New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Target Chip Ganassi Racing Report
6 United States Milwaukee United States Marco Andretti New Zealand Scott Dixon New Zealand Scott Dixon Australia Ryan Briscoe United States Team Penske Report
7 United States Fort Worth New Zealand Scott Dixon United Kingdom Dan Wheldon Brazil Hélio Castroneves New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Target Chip Ganassi Racing Report
8 United States Iowa New Zealand Scott Dixon Australia Ryan Briscoe Brazil Hélio Castroneves United Kingdom Dan Wheldon United States Target Chip Ganassi Racing Report
9 United States Richmond Brazil Tony Kanaan Brazil Tony Kanaan Brazil Tony Kanaan Brazil Tony Kanaan United States Andretti Green Racing Report
10 United States Watkins Glen Australia Ryan Briscoe Australia Ryan Briscoe Australia Ryan Briscoe United States Ryan Hunter-Reay United States Rahal Letterman Racing Report
11 United States Nashville Brazil Hélio Castroneves Brazil Tony Kanaan Brazil Tony Kanaan New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Target Chip Ganassi Racing Report
12 United States Mid-Ohio Brazil Hélio Castroneves Australia Ryan Briscoe Australia Ryan Briscoe Australia Ryan Briscoe United States Team Penske Report
13 Canada Edmonton Australia Ryan Briscoe Australia Will Power Brazil Hélio Castroneves New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Target Chip Ganassi Racing Report
14 United States Kentucky New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Ed Carpenter New Zealand Scott Dixon New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Target Chip Ganassi Racing Report
15 United States Sonoma Brazil Hélio Castroneves Brazil Hélio Castroneves Brazil Hélio Castroneves Brazil Hélio Castroneves United States Team Penske Report
16 United States Detroit New Zealand Scott Dixon United Kingdom Justin Wilson[68] Brazil Hélio Castroneves United Kingdom Justin Wilson United States Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing Report
17 United States Chicagoland Australia Ryan Briscoe Brazil Hélio Castroneves Brazil Hélio Castroneves Brazil Hélio Castroneves United States Team Penske Report
NC Australia Surfers Paradise Australia Will Power United Kingdom Dario Franchitti Australia Ryan Briscoe Australia Ryan Briscoe United States Team Penske Report

Race summaries[edit]

Round 1: GAINSCO Auto Insurance Indy 300[edit]

After qualifying, the Vision Racing qualifying times of Ed Carpenter and A. J. Foyt IV (2nd and 3rd) were disallowed, and forced to move to the rear of the field. After a crash during qualifying, Dan Wheldon was forced to a back-up car at the rear of the field as well.
At the start, Scott Dixon beat Danica Patrick into the first turn. Dixon went on to lead most of the way through lap 71. After a series of pit stops, Marco Andretti moved into the lead. On lap 127, Milka Duno spun in turn two, and collected Ryan Briscoe, who was running sixth. Later, Tony Kanaan moved back into the lead until the final round of pit stops. By pitting out-of-sequence Danica Patrick unlapped herself, and moved up to second place. The position was short-lived, as she was forced to pit for fuel before the end of the race. With seven laps to go, E. J. Viso spun directly in front the leader Kanaan, and clipped his right-front suspension. Kanaan attempted to limp around and hold on to the victory if the race finished under caution. With four laps to go, the green came out, and Kanaan was forced to pull out of the way. Scott Dixon got by, and held on for the victory.
Despite starting at the rear of the field, Dan Wheldon charged to the front, managed to lead 9 laps, and came home third. In addition, both Vision cars rebounded to finish in the top 10.
Top Five Finishers
Fin.
Pos
St.
Pos
Car
No.
Driver Team Laps Time Laps
Led
1 1 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 200 1:44:03.5914 67
2 4 26 United States Marco Andretti Andretti Green Racing 200 +0.5828 85
3 22 10 United Kingdom Dan Wheldon Chip Ganassi Racing 200 +1.4278 9
4 5 3 Brazil Helio Castroneves Penske Racing 200 +8.0340 4
5 24 20 United States Ed Carpenter Vision Racing 199 +1 lap 0
Race average speed: 171.248 mph (275.597 km/h)
Lead changes: 12 between 5 drivers
Cautions: 3 for 24 laps

Round 2: Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg[edit]

Heavy rain in the morning soaked the track, and left considerable standing water. The race was started under 10 laps of caution as the track dried. At the start, Tony Kanaan assumed the lead, but soon was passed by Justin Wilson. The early part of the race saw several spins by several cars, including Danica Patrick, Marco Andretti and Mario Moraes.
On the 37th lap after a restart, rookie Graham Rahal was hit from behind by Will Power while running 3rd. He was able to continue. Several cautions slowed the race, including a crash by Ryan Briscoe, and a multi-car incident involving Vitor Meira, Franck Perera, and Townsend Bell. On the restart that followed, Rahal-Letterman Racing driver Ryan Hunter-Reay led Graham Rahal. Rahal got the jump and took the lead into the first turn. With time running out before the two-hout time limit, the race was poised to end before the scheduled distance. On the final restart, just under 4 minutes of racing remained. Rahal held off a charging Helio Castroneves and won his first race.
At 19 years, 93 days old, Rahal became the youngest driver ever to win an Indy-style race, as well as the youngest winner in IndyCar Series history.[72] He broke Marco Andretti's record from 2006.[72] He also became the fourth driver to win an IndyCar Series race in his first start, joining Buzz Calkins, Juan Pablo Montoya and Scott Dixon.[72]
Top Five Finishers
Fin.
Pos
St.
Pos
Car
No.
Driver Team Laps Time Laps
Led
1 9 06 United States Graham Rahal Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing 83 2:00:43.5562 19
2 4 3 Brazil Helio Castroneves Penske Racing 83 +3.5192 0
3 1 11 Brazil Tony Kanaan Andretti Green Racing 83 +5.5134 15
4 15 33 Venezuela E. J. Viso HVM Racing 83 +8.8575 12
5 18 36 Brazil Enrique Bernoldi Conquest Racing 83 +9.6360 3
Race average speed: 74.251 mph (119.495 km/h)
Lead changes: 7 between 8 drivers
Cautions: 6 for 29 laps

Round 3A: Indy Japan 300[edit]

Main article: 2008 Indy Japan 300
  • Sunday April 20–11:00 a.m. JST / Saturday April 19, 10,:00 p.m. EDT; postponed from Saturday April 19–1:00 p.m. JST / 12:00 a.m. EDT due to weepers (water seeping up onto the track from previous heavy rains).
  • Twin Ring MotegiMotegi, Japan (1.52-mile oval)
  • Distance: 200 laps / 304 miles
  • Race weather: 54 °F (12 °C), Mostly cloudy
  • Television: ESPN Classic, ESPN2 (Marty Reid, Scott Goodyear, Jack Arute)
  • Nielsen ratings: 0.27 (rainout); 0.19 (live); 0.33 (re-air)
  • Attendance: TBA
  • Pole position winner: No. 3 Helio Castroneves (qualifying rained out; lineup set by IndyCar points standings)
  • Race summary
At the start, Marco Andretti lost control in turn one due to cold tires and crashed out of the race. Meanwhile, Helio Castroneves took the lead, and led the first 92 laps. On the 48th lap, Ed Carpenter and Danica Patrick pitted, but moments later the caution came out when Hideki Mutoh crashed. The pits became closed, and the remainder of the leaders had to wait to make their respective pit stops. After the field was shuffled, Castroneves still maintained the lead.
On the 92nd lap, Vitor Meira brushed the wall. In the pits, Vision Racing teammates Carpenter and A. J. Foyt IV made contact in their pit stalls. Scott Dixon exited the pits first, and took over the lead.
On lap 142, Roger Yasukawa stalled on the mainstretch with a brake failure. The ensuing caution period set up an exciting finish due to fuel strategy,[citation needed] as most teams were getting 51 laps on a single tank of fuel. The top seven leaders all pitted together, with Dixon coming out in the lead once again. On lap 148, Castroneves, Patrick, and Carpenter all returned to the pits to top off their tanks, in hopes of going the distance without one last pit stop, hoping that the race would go green to the finish.
Shortly after the restart on lap 149, Patrick dropped back to seventh place (last car on the lead lap) in a fuel conservation strategy to have enough fuel to challenge the leader at the end of the race. With the race remaining green, during the final ten laps, most of the leaders, not having enough fuel to get to the end, ducked off the track for "splash-and-go" pit stops for fuel. Despite topping off his tank earlier, Ed Carpenter, getting poorer fuel economy than the rest of the lead-lap cars, was forced to pit for fuel. Castroneves inherited the lead with less than 5 laps to go, with Patrick charging in second place. Castroneves slowed his pace to conserve fuel, and Patrick took the lead with 2 laps to go. Patrick held on to win, and became the first female to win a race in the history of top-level American open wheel racing.
Top Five Finishers
Fin.
Pos
St.
Pos
Car
No.
Driver Team Laps Time Laps
Led
1 6 7 United States Danica Patrick Andretti Green Racing 200 1:51:02.6739 3
2 1 3 Brazil Helio Castroneves Penske Racing 200 +5.8594 94
3 2 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 200 +10.0559 101
4 5 10 United Kingdom Dan Wheldon Chip Ganassi Racing 200 +13.1116 2
5 3 11 Brazil Tony Kanaan Andretti Green Racing 200 +16.0731 0
Race average speed: 164.258 mph (264.348 km/h)
Lead changes: 5 between 4 drivers
Cautions: 4 for 29 laps

Round 3B: Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach[edit]

The final race of the Champ Car era took place less than a day after the checkered flag fell at the Indy Japan 300. Teams which raced in ChampCars in 2007 stayed in North America for the 34th annual Long Beach Grand Prix, while teams which planned to compete in the IndyCar Series before the merger raced at Motegi.
The contingent of former Champ Car teams produced a 20-car field, all utilizing the turbocharged Cosworth/Panoz DP01 for the final time. From a standing start (the first such at Long Beach since 1983; Champ Car had utilised the start from June 2007), Will Power got the jump from fourth position to take the lead into turn one. Power led 81 of the 83 laps, relinquishing the top position only during pit stops.

All participants entering other IndyCar races earned points towards the 2008 IndyCar Series championship. All the teams raced together again a week later at Kansas Speedway, and for the remainder of the schedule together.

The race was run under Champ Car rules, which included the standing start, option tire, two-day qualifying format, ran on time (1hr 45 mins) rather than a set number of laps.
Top Five Finishers
Fin.
Pos
St.
Pos
Car
No.
Driver Team Laps Time Laps
Led
1 4 8 Australia Will Power KV Racing 83 1:45:25.415 81
2 6 7 France Franck Montagny Forsythe/Pettit Racing 83 +5.094 0
3 10 96 Mexico Mario Domínguez Pacific Coast Motorsports 83 +15.516 0
4 8 36 Brazil Enrique Bernoldi Conquest Racing 83 +25.677 0
5 12 5 Spain Oriol Servia KV Racing 83 +26.276 0
Race average speed: 92.964 mph (149.611 km/h)
Lead changes: 3 between 3 drivers
Cautions: 3 for 9 laps

Round 4: RoadRunner Turbo Indy 300[edit]

At the start, Scott Dixon took the lead from the pole position. Meanwhile, Enrique Bernoldi spun and headed to the pits. On lap 23, Will Power crashed in turn 2. While the field pitted under the caution, Justin Wilson stayed out and took the lead.
Dixon took the lead back on the restart, and maintained the lead through the next series of pit stops. On lap 98, the caution came out again for a crash involving E. J. Viso and Tomas Scheckter. After another long green flag segment, Buddy Rice brought out the yellow on lap 153 with a heavy crash in turn 2. In the pits, Danica Patrick retired from the race with a broken wheel hub. Meanwhile Scott Dixon, who had dominated most of the race, was shuffled back to seventh place.
The race resumed after a long yellow with Dan Wheldon leading. Wheldon pulled away and led the final 49 laps to record his first IndyCar Series victory since April 2007.
Top Five Finishers
Fin.
Pos
St.
Pos
Car
No.
Driver Team Laps Time Laps
Led
1 2 10 United Kingdom Dan Wheldon Chip Ganassi Racing 200 1:52:49.9806 49
2 11 11 Brazil Tony Kanaan Andretti Green Racing 200 +2.1778 0
3 1 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 200 +4.3922 145
4 8 3 Brazil Helio Castroneves Penske Racing 200 +9.2889 1
5 14 26 United States Marco Andretti Andretti Green Racing 200 +9.2986 0
Race average speed: 161.774 mph (260.350 km/h)
Lead changes: 5 between 4 drivers
Cautions: 4 for 41 laps

Round 5: 92nd Indianapolis 500 broadcast presented by GoDaddy.com[edit]

Main article: 2008 Indianapolis 500
Top Five Finishers
Fin.
Pos
St.
Pos
Car
No.
Driver Team Laps Time Laps
Led
1 1 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 200 3:28:57.6792 115
2 8 4 Brazil Vitor Meira Panther Racing 200 +1.7498 12
3 7 26 United States Marco Andretti Andretti Green Racing 200 +2.3127 15
4 4 3 Brazil Helio Castroneves Penske Racing 200 +6.2619 0
5 10 20 United States Ed Carpenter Vision Racing 200 +6.5505 2
Race average speed: 143.567 mph (231.049 km/h)
Lead changes: 18 between 9 drivers
Cautions: 8 for 69 laps

Round 6: ABC Supply Company A.J. Foyt 225[edit]

Marco Andretti took the lead from the pole position, and led the first 40 laps. He was chased early by Scott Dixon and teammate Tony Kanaan. Graham Rahal, who started on the outside of the front row, shuffled back, but remained in the top 5 for the first half of the race.
The first half was mostly green, with only a minor caution involving Oriol Servia and another for debris. Later in the first fuel segment, Andretti's handling started to suffer, and Scott Dixon took over the lead. Helio Castroneves took over second, and Andretti fell back as deep as tenth.
On lap 130, Graham Rahal went high in turn three to pass Darren Manning. He got into the marbles, and brushed along the wall in turn four. After holding the lead for 136 laps, Dixon was finally challenged by Ryan Briscoe. Briscoe took over the lead on lap 177, and held it until a green flag pit stop on lap 194. After a sequence of pit stops, Castroneves, Andretti and Wheldon all cycled near the front. When all pit stops were complete, Briscoe held a half-second lead over Dixon. The two battled for the lead over the final 21 laps.
With less than three laps to go, Marco Andretti dove underneath Ed Carpenter in turn one. The cars touched, and both cars spun into the wall. Vitor Meira became caught up in the smoke, and rode up over Andretti, becoming airborne. He landed upright, and all drivers were uninjured. The race finished under caution with Ryan Briscoe picking up his first career IndyCar victory, and 300th overall win for the Mooresville, North Carolina-based Penske Racing in all motorsports series.
Top Five Finishers
Fin.
Pos
St.
Pos
Car
No.
Driver Team Laps Time Laps
Led
1 11 6 Australia Ryan Briscoe Penske Racing 225 1:42:41.7387 36
2 3 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 225 +0.0487 147
3 6 11 Brazil Tony Kanaan Andretti Green Racing 225 +1.8413 0
4 7 10 United Kingdom Dan Wheldon Chip Ganassi Racing 225 +2.9314 0
5 5 3 Brazil Helio Castroneves Penske Racing 225 +4.6704 2
Race average speed: 133.428 mph (214.732 km/h)
Lead changes: 5 between 4 drivers
Cautions: 4 for 29 laps

Round 7: Bombardier Learjet 550[edit]

In the first half, three single-car incidents involving Mario Domínguez, Justin Wilson, and Oriol Servia slowed the race. The lead changed hands between Helio Castroneves, Bruno Junqueira, and Scott Dixon for the first 100 laps.
Two sequences of green flag pit stops occurred under a long stretch of green flag conditions. A caution for debris came out on lap 165, sending the leaders to the pits once more. Vitor Meira stayed out to take over the lead.
With 21 laps to go, Meira was forced to pit for fuel, giving up the lead to Marco Andretti. Moments later, Enrique Bernoldi crashed in turn four. Andretti led the field back to green on lap 219.
With six laps to go, Scott Dixon slipped by Andretti to take the lead. On the next lap, down the backstretch, third place Ryan Hunter-Reay dove below Andretti heading into turn three. Hunter-Reay pinched his left wheels onto the apron, lost control, and touched wheels with Andretti. Both cars spun and crashed hard into the wall. The race finished under caution with Dixon the winner, and Helio Castroneves slipping by the accident to finish second.
Top Five Finishers
Fin.
Pos
St.
Pos
Car
No.
Driver Team Laps Time Laps
Led
1 1 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 228 2:04:36.3153 58
2 2 3 Brazil Hélio Castroneves Penske Racing 228 +0.0479 85
3 3 6 Australia Ryan Briscoe Penske Racing 228 +0.6173 12
4 7 10 United Kingdom Dan Wheldon Chip Ganassi Racing 228 +3.3000 0
5 6 11 Brazil Tony Kanaan Andretti Green Racing 228 +4.3124 0
Race average speed: 159.740 mph (257.077 km/h)
Lead changes: 21 between 6 drivers
Cautions: 8 for 52 laps

Round 8: Iowa Corn Indy 250[edit]

At the green flag, Helio Castroneves took the lead in turn 1 from polesitter Scott Dixon. Tony Kanaan quickly moved up to second position. Over the next 10–15 laps, Castroneves and Kanaan battled back-and-forth for the lead, side-by-side on many laps. Kanaan finally muscled the lead away on lap 16, and gained a lead of roughly one second.

On lap 39, Ed Carpenter brushed the outside wall in turn 2. The leaders pit, and Kanaan exited the pits as the leader. On lap 51, the green came back out, and a lap later, Castroneves got by Kanaan for the lead. Jaime Camara brought out the yellow on lap 106 when his car lost power and stopped on the course. After another sequence of pit stops, Tony Kanaan led Dan Wheldon and Marco Andretti. On the restart, Wheldon lost control and slid up the track, falling to 8th place.

On lap 157 Mario Moraes spun into the pit apron, bringing out a caution, and the leaders pitted. John Andretti's pitcrew had trouble engaging the fuel hose, and he dropped back the end of the running order. Prior to this he had been running in 7th place, one of the highest positions ever for a Roth Racing car.

Castroneves regained the lead on lap 170, and held it until another yellow came out on lap 188 for a spin by Enrique Bernoldi. Most of the leaders pitted, but Dan Wheldon, Hideki Mutoh, and Danica Patrick stayed out to lead the field. On the restart Mario Moraes spun for the second time of the day, and prolonged the yellow until lap 202. On lap 212, Tony Kanaan (running third) suddenly lost control and crashed in turn 1.

On the lap 227 restart, Marco Andretti and Scott Dixon passed Danica Patrick to take third and fourth place respectively. Over the final 15 laps, Mutoh and Andretti battled for second, with Mutoh holding off Andretti's challenge. Dan Wheldon went on to win, and Chip Ganassi Racing donated their race winnings from both cars to Iowa flood relief. After getting by Danica Patrick late in the race, A. J. Foyt IV finished in the top 5, while John Andretti just missed the top 10, working his way back to 11th.

Top Five Finishers
Fin.
Pos
St.
Pos
Car
No.
Driver Team Laps Time Laps
Led
1 3 10 United Kingdom Dan Wheldon Chip Ganassi Racing 250 1:30:50.3110 61
2 7 27 Japan Hideki Mutoh Andretti Green Racing 250 +0.1430 0
3 8 26 United States Marco Andretti Andretti Green Racing 250 +0.9028 26
4 1 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 250 +1.2726 0
5 18 2 United States A. J. Foyt IV Vision Racing 250 +1.3564 0
Race average speed: 136.007 mph (218.882 km/h)
Lead changes: 9 between 4 drivers
Cautions: 6 for 57 laps

Round 9: SunTrust Indy Challenge[edit]

At the start, Ryan Hunter-Reay spun just before the start/finish line, which brought the yellow out immediately. The first 7 laps were run under yellow with Tony Kanaan leading from the pole position. On lap 8, the green came out, but only one lap was completed before the next yellow. Will Power was driving below Hélio Castroneves, lost control, and crashed in turn 4. The race finally got going on lap 21, when the green came out once again.
On lap 31, A. J. Foyt IV touched wheels with John Andretti, and Foyt crashed in the wall in turn 2. His Vision Racing teammate Ed Carpenter ran over debris from the crash, and both cars were sidelined. During the caution, a handful of cars pitted, including Danica Patrick and rookie Jaime Camara, but most of the leaders stayed on the track.
Kanaan continued to lead when debris brought out the caution again on lap 67. All of the leaders pitted, while Camara and Patrick stayed out and took the first two spots. On the restart, Camara led the field, but Buddy Rice spun and tagged the wall on the frontstretch. The field checked up, and Darren Manning, Ryan Briscoe and Bruno Junqueira were involved in a separate crash.
Camara led at the next restart, while Kanaan, Patrick, and Castroneves went 3-wide for second. Behind them in turn 2, John Andretti and Vitor Meira tangled, and crashed hard in the wall. Patrick returned to the pits, and topped off with fuel. Camara continued to lead, and impressively held off Kanaan on the restart. On lap 116, Marco Andretti caught up to Camara, and took the lead for the first time.
Graham Rahal crashed on lap 133 in turn 4. Many of the leaders pitted, but Andretti stayed out to lead. Another restart saw only three green laps, as yet another crash occurred, this time involving Ryan Hunter-Reay and Mario Moraes. Around this time, some teams anticipated that rain might end the race early.
Marco Andretti gave up the lead on lap 204 when he made his final pit stop. That put Tony Kanaan back into the lead. On lap 217, after a brilliant run in the top five, Jaime Camara lost control and crashed on the frontstretch. The yellow trapped Andretti a lap down, and kept Kanaan in the lead after the final sequence of pits stops. The rain held off, and Kanaan led the rest of the way for his first victory of the season.
Top Five Finishers
Fin.
Pos
St.
Pos
Car
No.
Driver Team Laps Time Laps
Led
1 1 11 Brazil Tony Kanaan Andretti Green Racing 300 2:04:05.5111 166
2 18 3 Brazil Hélio Castroneves Penske Racing 300 +4.7691 0
3 4 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 300 +6.6504 0
4 6 10 United Kingdom Dan Wheldon Chip Ganassi Racing 300 +7.7270 0
5 10 5 Spain Oriol Servia KV Racing 300 +10.7701 0
Race average speed: 108.790 mph (175.081 km/h)
Lead changes: 3 between 3 drivers
Cautions: 9 for 102 laps

Round 10: Camping World Watkins Glen Grand Prix[edit]

Polesitter Ryan Briscoe led from the start, but Scott Dixon, who qualified fourth, quickly passed Justin Wilson and Ryan Hunter-Reay to move into second for most of the first half of the race. Dixon was unable to pass Briscoe, but posed a serious challenge and posted comparable lap times.
The start of the race was relatively attrition-free, expect for incidents involving two championship contenders. Dan Wheldon made contact with Darren Manning on the first lap, leading to suspension damage for Wheldon. On lap 6 Hélio Castroneves, who had started last after being unable to post a time in qualifying due to a broken throttle, snapping his streak of three consecutive poles at Watkins Glen, had a gearbox problem and stopped just shy of pit lane. With few other drivers dropping out in the first 40 laps, Dixon was poised to massively increase his points lead.
After a brief interlude when Vitor Meira led during a pit stop cycle, Briscoe and Dixon returned to the top two positions and thoroughly dominated the race, leading third-place Hunter-Reay by over 20 seconds. However, Meira and E. J. Viso made contact in turn 8 and the ensuing caution period allowed the other lead-lap cars to catch up to Briscoe and Dixon. All drivers pitted on this caution period except Manning, who stayed out of the pits in an attempt to stretch his fuel mileage. Dixon beat Briscoe and Hunter-Reay out of the pits, but Manning took the lead.
A brief green-flag period on lap 44 ended when Enrique Bernoldi crashed in turn 1, and then the race took a rather unusual turn, with two wrecks occurring under the caution period, before the race returned to green. A restart was waved off when A. J. Foyt IV and Milka Duno crashed in turn 9. Once that was cleaned up, and the IRL officials attempted to restart the race again, Dixon, who was swerving his tires to clean them, unexpectedly spun out and collected Briscoe. Hunter-Reay, who avoided the wreck, suddenly found himself second to Manning.
On lap 51, the race returned to green, with Manning ahead of Hunter-Reay. Hunter-Reay, who had no need to conserve fuel, newer tires, and a stronger car, easily dispatched of Manning in a short green-flag period before another caution came out for Jaime Camara's crash in turn 6. This was the final caution of the race, and Hunter-Reay won easily, claiming his first win in IndyCar, his first American open wheel win since 2004, and the Rahal Letterman Racing team's first win since 2004, with Buddy Rice. Manning did not come close to running out of fuel with all the cautions and finished second, his best career finish. With Castroneves, Wheldon, and Dixon's trouble, Tony Kanaan, who finished third, was the big gainer in the points standings, but Dixon still held a lead of 48 points on Castroneves, and 51 on Wheldon.
Top Five Finishers
Fin.
Pos
St.
Pos
Car
No.
Driver Team Laps Time Laps
Led
1 3 17 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay Rahal Letterman Racing 60 1:54:01.1795 9
2 8 14 United Kingdom Darren Manning A.J. Foyt Racing 60 +2.4009 10
3 6 11 Brazil Tony Kanaan Andretti Green Racing 60 +4.1054 0
4 17 15 United States Buddy Rice Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 60 +4.8111 0
5 7 26 United States Marco Andretti Andretti Green Racing 60 +5.3132 0
Race average speed: 106.403 mph (171.239 km/h)
Lead changes: 5 between 4 drivers
Cautions: 6 for 14 laps

Round 11: Firestone Indy 200[edit]

Pole winner Hélio Castroneves led at the start, with Danica Patrick second. On lap 3, Marco Andretti's car wiggled in turn 2, made contact with Ryan Briscoe, and both cars crashed into the outside wall. After the caution, Castroneves continued to lead, and Patrick held on to second.
On lap 45, Patrick attempted to take the lead, but Castroneves was able to hold the position. The move shuffled Patrick back to fifth position. After the first sequence of pit stops, the lead changed hands between Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan. Kanaan held the lead through the next caution, when Ryan Hunter-Reay crashed in turn 3 on lap 100. All of the leaders pitted under the yellow on lap 102.
On lap 139, Kanaan continued to lead when a light rain brought out the caution. On lap 149, Kanaan, Vitor Meira, Patrick, Castroneves, and others, pitted for tires and fuel. Scott Dixon and Dan Wheldon, however, stayed out and moved into the lead. When the rain stopped, the race went back to green on lap 152.
Scott Dixon led Dan Wheldon as the race passed the 160 lap mark (40 laps to go). With fuel running low, both cars gambled on the rain resuming. On lap 166, rain began to fall, with Dixon the leader. Heavy rain put out the red flag after lap 171. Fifteen minutes later, the race was called, and Scott Dixon was declared the winner.
Top Five Finishers
Fin.
Pos
St.
Pos
Car
No.
Driver Team Laps Time Laps
Led
1 5 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 171 1:30:04.6499 53
2 6 10 United Kingdom Dan Wheldon Chip Ganassi Racing 171 +1.0680 0
3 1 3 Brazil Hélio Castroneves Penske Racing 171 +4.1054 54
4 7 11 Brazil Tony Kanaan Andretti Green Racing 171 +6.4612 59
5 2 7 United States Danica Patrick Andretti Green Racing 171 +7.8301 0
Race average speed: 148.072 mph (238.299 km/h)
Lead changes: 5 between 4 drivers
Cautions: 4 for 37 laps

Round 12: The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio presented by Westfield Insurance[edit]

Main article: 2008 Honda 200
Top Five Finishers
Fin.
Pos
St.
Pos
Car
No.
Driver Team Laps Time Laps
Led
1 2 6 Australia Ryan Briscoe Penske Racing 85 2:01:22.8496 43
2 1 3 Brazil Hélio Castroneves Penske Racing 85 +7.2640 5
3 6 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 85 +7.6967 0
4 12 8 Australia Will Power KV Racing 85 +12.7569 3
5 8 5 Spain Oriol Servia KV Racing 85 +13.4713 0
Race average speed: 94.873 mph (152.683 km/h)
Lead changes: 7 between 7 drivers
Cautions: 5 for 19 laps

Round 13: Rexall Edmonton Indy[edit]

Top Five Finishers
Fin.
Pos
St.
Pos
Car
No.
Driver Team Laps Time Laps
Led
1 4 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 91 1:51:05.7039 30
2 2 3 Brazil Hélio Castroneves Penske Racing 91 +5.9237 35
3 6 02 United Kingdom Justin Wilson Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing 91 +13.4009 0
4 15 22 Canada Paul Tracy Vision Racing 91 +28.1462 0
5 3 5 Spain Oriol Servia KV Racing 91 +28.7132 0
Race average speed: 96.967 mph (156.053 km/h)
Lead changes: 9 between 6 drivers
Cautions: 4 for 19 laps

Round 14: Meijer Indy 300[edit]

Main article: 2008 Meijer Indy 300

This race had a shuffling finish, with Dixon, Andretti and Meira each leading at least one lap in the dying stages before pitting for splash-and-go stops. Castroneves inherited the lead, stayed out as his team assumed he would have enough fuel to finish, and was still leading when the white flag came out. But on the final corner, Castroneves ran out of fuel and Dixon flew past to take his sixth win of the season.

Top Five Finishers
Fin.
Pos
St.
Pos
Car
No.
Driver Team Laps Time Laps
Led
1 1 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 200 1:36:42.3467 151
2 6 3 Brazil Hélio Castroneves Penske Racing 200 +0.5532 5
3 9 26 United States Marco Andretti Andretti Green Racing 200 +0.5707 38
4 2 4 Brazil Vitor Meira Panther Racing 200 +0.9102 5
5 3 10 United Kingdom Dan Wheldon Chip Ganassi Racing 200 +2.1472 0
Race average speed: 183.650 mph (295.556 km/h)
Lead changes: 10 between 5 drivers
Cautions: 4 for 19 laps

Round 15: Peak Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County[edit]

After so many second places, this was the race Castroneves had been waiting for, with a smooth, dominant drive to claim his long-awaited first win of the season and close the gap on Dixon in the title race.

Top Five Finishers
Fin.
Pos
St.
Pos
Car
No.
Driver Team Laps Time Laps
Led
1 1 3 Brazil Hélio Castroneves Penske Racing 80 1:50:15.8282 51
2 2 6 Australia Ryan Briscoe Penske Racing 80 +5.2926 19
3 4 11 Brazil Tony Kanaan Andretti Green Racing 80 +16.6032 1
4 16 10 United Kingdom Dan Wheldon Chip Ganassi Racing 80 +17.7720 0
5 9 7 United States Danica Patrick Andretti Green Racing 80 +25.8458 0
Race average speed: 100.254 mph (161.343 km/h)
Lead changes: 8 between 4 drivers
Cautions: 1 for 2 laps

Round 16: Detroit Indy Grand Prix presented by Firestone[edit]

The finish to this race was not without controversy. Late in the race, Castroneves led Wilson by less than a second, and Castroneves appeared to make an illegal block, causing IRL officials to penalize him, allowing Wilson to move past and take the win by more than 4 seconds.

Top Five Finishers
Fin.
Pos
St.
Pos
Car
No.
Driver Team Laps Time Laps
Led
1 4 02 United Kingdom Justin Wilson Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing 87 2:00:10.7618 15
2 2 3 Brazil Hélio Castroneves Penske Racing 87 +4.4058 53
3 8 11 Brazil Tony Kanaan Andretti Green Racing 87 +17.6815 0
4 3 5 Spain Oriol Servia KV Racing 87 +26.5468 0
5 1 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 87 +27.7185 18
Race average speed: 89.911 mph (144.698 km/h)
Lead changes: 4 between 4 drivers
Cautions: 4 for 11 laps

Round 17: Peak Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy 300[edit]

  • Sunday September 7–2:30 p.m. CDT / 3:30 p.m. EDT
  • Chicagoland SpeedwayJoliet, Illinois (1.52 mile oval)
  • Distance: 200 laps / 304 miles
  • Race weather:
  • Television: ABC (Marty Reid, Scott Goodyear, Jack Arute, Vince Welch, Brienne Pedigo)
  • Nielsen ratings: 0.8[87]
  • Attendance:
  • Pole Position winner: No. 6 Ryan Briscoe, 215.818 mph (347.325 km/h)
  • Race Summary: The final points race sees Hélio Castroneves winning his second round of the season, having started dead last after being demoted to the rear of the grid due to him illegally moving his car below the white line during qualifications. His drive from 28th to first was the farthest back a driver has won an IndyCar Series race from. The Brazilian held off the newly crowned champion Scott Dixon by 0.0033 seconds or 12⅛ inches, in the second closest finish in the twelve-year history of the series.[88] The race was originally given to Dixon by what would have been a closest winning margin of 0.0010 seconds, but the result was changed following a review. Hideki Mutoh claimed rookie of the year after he finished 22nd and Justin Wilson could finish no higher than 11th.
Top Five Finishers
Fin.
Pos
St.
Pos
Car
No.
Driver Team Laps Time Laps
Led
1 28 3 Brazil Hélio Castroneves Penske Racing 200 2:01:04.5907 79
2 2 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 200 +0.0033 15
3 1 6 Australia Ryan Briscoe Penske Racing 200 +0.0811 41
4 4 11 Brazil Tony Kanaan Andretti Green Racing 200 +0.6128 47
5 10 8 Australia Will Power KV Racing 200 +1.3613 0
Race average speed: 150.649 mph (242.446 km/h)
Lead changes: 22 between 6 drivers
Cautions: 7 for 53 laps

Nikon Indy 300[edit]

Main article: 2008 Nikon Indy 300

Justin Wilson pitted on the warm-up lap, with the gearbox sticking in third, but joined the start from the back. Will Power immediately dominated the start, pulling a two-second lead on the first lap. Scott Dixon started second but after being forced to cut the first chicane was relegated behind Ryan Briscoe by officialdom.

Mario Moraes and Vitor Meira clashed at the second chicane with Meira spinning without hitting anyone. A few lap later Moraes caused the first safety car, clipping the turn 2 chicane, breaking the right rear corner of the car. Townsend Bell was eliminated after a clash with Hélio Castroneves which wrecked Bell's steering. Later the same lap Castroneves had a right rear puncture caused by Danica Patrick's front wing while passing the Andretti Green Racing driver.

Lap 17 saw the end of Power's dominance of the meeting as he crashed at the Bartercard chicane, which put Briscoe into the lead ahead of Dixon. Briscoe pitted for fuel immediately upon catching the tailmarker, Patrick, but Dixon waited another lap and was held up behind Patrick. At the same time Graham Rahal touched the rear of Ed Carpenter, spinning the Vision Racing car around, almost blocking the track. The emerging safety car almost hit Dixon as he completed his stop.

Behind the safety car Patrick stopped and stalled, almost hitting the stationary car of Carpenter. Dario Franchitti clipped the tyre bundle on the inside of the same chicane and spun and stalled bringing out the safety car. After the restart Tony Kanaan had the right rear suspension break without apparent reason.

After the second round of pitstops the battle for third between Alex Tagliani and Ryan Hunter-Reay was interrupted by Franchitti as a poor pitstop and a poor pit position for Conquest Racing saw Tagliani drop several position behind E. J. Viso. Viso later would twice have to give up spots for cutting chicanes, first to Tagliani, then Castroneves. Lap 48 saw Jaime Camara go straight on and stalled the car attempting to recover.

In the races closing stages Dixon closed in on Briscoe, the two remaining local drivers lapping significantly faster than the rest of the field. Carpenter hit the wall at turn 3 on the last lap but it did not affect the lead battle and Briscoe won his home race ahead of Dixon and Hunter-Reay finished third.

Top Five Finishers
Fin.
Pos
St.
Pos
Car
No.
Driver Team Laps Time Laps
Led
1 3 6 Australia Ryan Briscoe Penske Racing 60 1:45:50.3868 39
2 2 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 60 +0.5019 1
3 5 17 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay Rahal Letterman Racing 60 +9.1179 9
4 7 36 Canada Alex Tagliani Conquest Racing 60 +19.9844 1
5 15 5 Spain Oriol Servia KV Racing 60 +20.4376 0
Race average speed: 95.068 mph (152.997 km/h)
Lead changes: 7 between 6 drivers
Cautions: 3 for 6 laps

Final driver standings[edit]

Pos Driver HMS
United States
STP
United States
MOT1
Japan
LBH1
United States
KAN
United States
INDY
United States
MIL
United States
TXS
United States
IOW
United States
RIR
United States
WGL
United States
NSH
United States
MDO
United States
EDM
Canada
KTY
United States
SNM
United States
DET
United States
CHI
United States
Pts SUR2
Australia
1 New Zealand Scott Dixon 1 22 3* 3* 1* 2* 1 4 3 11 1 3 1 1* 12 5 2 646 2
2 Brazil Hélio Castroneves 4 2 2 4 4 5 2* 14* 2 16 3 2 2* 2 1* 2* 1* 629 7
3 Brazil Tony Kanaan 8 3 5 2 29 3 5 18 1* 3 4* 7 9 8 3 3 4 513 21
4 United Kingdom Dan Wheldon 3 12 4 1 12 4 4 1 4 24 2 17 7 5 4 20 6 492 11
5 Australia Ryan Briscoe 19 23 9 7 23 1 3 7 15 12* 23 1* 6 7 2 9 3 447 1*
6 United States Danica Patrick 6 10 1 19 22 9 10 6 6 14 5 12 18 11 5 16 10 379 18
7 United States Marco Andretti 2* 25 18 5 3 21 19 3 9 5 24 25 17 3 14 18 8 363 13
8 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay 7 17 7 18 6 15 20 8 16 1 19 10 8 9 18 6 9 360 3
9 Spain Oriol Servià 12 7 5 11 11 6 26 16 5 23 16 5 5 12 15 4 17 358 5
10 Japan Hideki Mutoh 24 6 11 6 7 12 6 2 13 9 14 9 27 18 13 11 22 346 8
11 United Kingdom Justin Wilson 15 9 19 9 27 7 27 12 7 25 18 11 3 24 9 1 11 340 12
12 Australia Will Power 25 8 1* 27 13 14 13 9 25 15 11 4 22 26 25 8 5 331 22
13 Brazil Vitor Meira 10 19 16 22 2 22 7 15 20 22 6 6 19 4 7 17 27 324 14
14 United Kingdom Darren Manning 13 13 8 24 9 13 28 21 12 2 9 8 10 19 22 12 7 323
15 United States Ed Carpenter 5 18 6 10 5 20 9 23 11 17 8 15 13 6 23 14 28 320 20
16 United States Buddy Rice 11 15 12 20 8 10 8 22 22 4 7 20 11 10 11 19 25 306 10
17 United States Graham Rahal 1* 13 12 33 25 11 10 18 8 12 16 26 25 8 13 19 288 9
18 Venezuela E. J. Viso 17 4 9 14 26 8 14 13 10 10 22 15 13 6 24 23 286 6
19 United States A. J. Foyt IV 9 11 15 8 21 17 12 5 24 19 22 18 12 20 20 10 13 280 17
20 Brazil Bruno Junqueira 23 24 12 15 20 18 15 DNS 23 6 15 13 14 14 17 7 20 256 15
21 Brazil Mario Moraes 16 16 20 17 18 23 18 19 17 7 10 24 20 17 10 15 21 244 24
22 Brazil Enrique Bernoldi 18 5 4 25 15 16 23 17 26 21 20 26 16 22 21 220
23 Brazil Jaime Camara 21 31 24 24 20 14 18 21 14 23 16 24 25 18 174 19
24 Canada Marty Roth 21 DNS 17 26 32 DNS 22 DNS 19 13 21 21 23 26 DNS 16 166
25 Venezuela Milka Duno 20 16 19 17 17 20 17 23 21 23 14 140
26 United States Townsend Bell 21 10 10 11 8 25 19 117 23
27 Mexico Mario Domínguez 3 DNQ 26 21 13 19 24 16 112
28 United Kingdom Jay Howard 22 14 13 13 26 72
29 France Franck Perera 14 20 6 15 71
30 United States John Andretti 16 19 16 11 21 71
31 South Africa Tomas Scheckter 23 24 25 27 21 26 66
32 Canada Alex Tagliani 7 22 12 56 4
33 Canada Paul Tracy 11 4 51
34 United States Sarah Fisher 30 15 24 37
35 United States Roger Yasukawa 14 DNQ 16
36 United States Davey Hamilton 14 16
37 United States Buddy Lazier 17 13
38 United Kingdom Alex Lloyd 25 10
39 United States Jeff Simmons 28 10
40 France Franck Montagny 3 2 0
41 Mexico David Martínez 3 8 0
42 United States Jimmy Vasser 3 10 0
43 United States Alex Figge 3 14 0
44 France Nelson Philippe 3 15 0
45 Brazil Antônio Pizzonia 3 16 0
46 Brazil Roberto Moreno 3 17 0
47 Finland Juho Annala 3 18 0
United Kingdom Dario Franchitti 0 16
United States Phil Giebler DNQ 0
Italy Max Papis DNQ 0
Pos Driver HMS
United States
STP
United States
MOT1
Japan
LBH1
United States
KAN
United States
INDY
United States
MIL
United States
TXS
United States
IOW
United States
RIR
United States
WGL
United States
NSH
United States
MDO
United States
EDM
Canada
KTY
United States
SNM
United States
DET
United States
CHI
United States
Pts SUR2
Australia
Color Result
Gold Winner
Silver 2nd place
Bronze 3rd place
Green 4th & 5th place
Light Blue 6th–10th place
Dark Blue Finished
(Outside Top 10)
Purple Did not finish
(Ret)
Red Did not qualify
(DNQ)
Brown Withdrawn
(Wth)
Black Disqualified
(DSQ)
White Did not start
(DNS)
Blank Did not
participate
(DNP)
Not competing
In-Line Notation
Bold Pole position
Italics Ran fastest race lap
* Led most race laps
(3 points)
DNS Any driver who qualifies
but does not start (DNS),
earns half the points
had they taken part.
Note 1 Races run on same day
(Motegi / IndyCar)
(Long Beach / Champ Car)
Note 2 Non-championship round
(no points awarded)
Note 3 no points awarded
(Long Beach participants did not
enter other 2008 IndyCar races)
Rookie of the Year
Rookie

In every race, points are awarded to drivers on the following basis:

Position 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33
Points 50 40 35 32 30 28 26 24 22 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
  • Ties in points broken by number of wins, followed by number of 2nds, 3rds, etc., and then by number of pole positions, followed by number of times qualified 2nd, etc.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]