Photo Credit: danwheldonfans.com
The first race of the 2006 season had a classic IRL finish ... side-by-side at over 200 MPH at less than a tenth of a second seperation. The finish was the 9th closest finish in IRL history.
Dan Wheldon, last year's champion for the Andretti/Green Racing team became the winner of his first race driving for Target Chip Ganassi Racing. During the last 20 laps, Wheldon and Helio Castroneves of Team Penske traded the lead in side-by-side fashion with Wheldon on the outside. Behind them, racing three wide much of the time were Sam Hornish - Team Penske, Dario Franchiti - Andretti/Green Racing, and Scott Dixon - Target Chip Ganassi Racing ... all with a ringside seat to the outside pass that won the race.
From indycar.com -
Wheldon edges Castroneves for victory
Sunday, March 26, 2006 By indycar.com staff
"Hopefully we put on a good race on a very sad day," said Wheldon, the reigning IndyCar Series champion. "It is a very entertaining series, and certainly one of the most competitive in the world."
Wheldon and Castroneves were wheel to wheel coming out of Turns 3 and 4, and rubbed tires at least twice.
"That's one of the things about the IndyCar Series; everybody respects each other an immense amount," said Wheldon, who led eight laps. "Whenever you run side by side with Helio, he gives you just enough room, and hoepfully I do the same."