2003 Firestone Indy 400

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Coordinates: 42°03′58.68″N 84°14′29.18″W / 42.0663000°N 84.2414389°W / 42.0663000; -84.2414389

United States 2003 Firestone Indy 400
Race details
Race 10 of 16 in the 2003 IndyCar Series season
Michigan International Speedway track map.png
DateJuly 27, 2003
Official name2003 Firestone Indy 400
LocationMichigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, Michigan, United States
CoursePermanent racing facility
2.000 mi / 3.219 km
Distance200 laps
400.000 mi / 643.800 km
WeatherSE breeze of 5-10 mph; 81°F air temperature; cloudy with threats of further rain
Pole position
DriverSouth Africa Tomas Scheckter (Chip Ganassi Racing)
Time32.4518
Fastest lap
DriverUnited States Bryan Herta (Andretti Green Racing)
Time30.3748[1] (on lap 12 of 200)
Podium
FirstUnited States Alex Barron (Mo Nunn Racing)
SecondUnited States Sam Hornish Jr. (Panther Racing)
ThirdSouth Africa Tomas Scheckter (Chip Ganassi Racing)

The 2003 Firestone Indy 400 was the tenth round of the 2003 IndyCar Series season. The race was held on July 27, 2003 at the 2.00 mi Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. In one of the closest finishes in series history, Mo Nunn Racing driver Alex Barron beat Sam Hornish Jr. by about one hundredth of a second, with polesitter Tomas Scheckter finishing 3rd. Reminiscent of Danny Sullivan's "spin and win" at the 1985 Indianapolis 500, Barron spun while in the lead with thirty seven laps to go but he avoided contact with the wall or other cars and was able to use the draft to work his way back to the front and remain side-by-side with Hornish for the lead during the final twenty laps.

Barron was in his second race for Mo Nunn Racing as a replacement for an injured Felipe Giaffone and was looking for a good result after a solid qualifying. Chip Ganassi Racing locked out the front row, but it was Hornish and his exclusive next-generation Chevrolet Indy V8 engine that dominated the race. Barron's spin on Lap 163 brought out a caution that bunched up the field and allowed the drivers to make a pit stop, setting up a thirty five-lap sprint to the finish. Multiple cars raced side-by-side and even three-wide as the laps ran down, but by Lap 180 it was a two-car race between Barron and Hornish for the win. Hornish stuck to the inside of the track and forced Barron to pass on the outside, but the air resistance generated by the 220 mph speeds meant that Barron physically could not complete the pass and move down to the inside line that Hornish was running. On the final lap of the race, Barron moved his car directly behind Hornish on the back-straight to take advantage of the draft; from there he used the extra momentum to dart back to the outside in Turns 3 and 4, get alongside Hornish, and cross the finish line first by just 0.0121 seconds, at the time the fourth closest finish in IndyCar history.[2]

The win was both Barron's and Mo Nunn Racing's second win in IndyCar competition; it would also be the last win for both driver and team. It was also the race with the fastest average speed in IndyCar history at 180.917 mph until next year's race in 2004.

Qualifying[edit]

July 26, 2003 - Qualifying Speeds
Rank Driver Time Leader Speed (mph) Team
1 South Africa Tomas Scheckter 32.3657 222.458 Chip Ganassi Racing
2 New Zealand Scott Dixon 32.3704 +0.005 222.425 Chip Ganassi Racing
3 Brazil Helio Castroneves 32.4393 +0.074 221.953 Team Penske
4 United States Sam Hornish Jr. 32.4563 +0.091 221.837 Panther Racing
5 United States Al Unser Jr. 32.5108 +0.145 221.465 Kelley Racing
6 United States Alex Barron 32.5222 +0.157 221.387 Mo Nunn Racing
7 United States Greg Ray 32.5286 +0.163 221.344 Access Motorsports
8 Sweden Kenny Bräck 32.5878 +0.222 220.942 Team Rahal
9 Brazil Gil de Ferran 32.5988 +0.233 220.867 Team Penske
10 United States Scott Sharp 32.6580 +0.292 220.467 Kelley Racing
11 Japan Tora Takagi 32.7036 +0.338 220.159 Mo Nunn Racing
12 Japan Roger Yasukawa (R) 32.7350 +0.369 219.948 Fernández Racing
13 England Dan Wheldon (R) 32.8099 +0.444 219.446 Andretti Green Racing
14 United States Bryan Herta 32.8577 +0.492 219.127 Andretti Green Racing
15 Brazil Tony Kanaan 32.9059 +0.540 218.806 Andretti Green Racing
16 United States AJ Foyt IV (R) 32.9442 +0.579 218.551 A.J. Foyt Enterprises
17 Brazil Vitor Meira 33.1127 +0.747 217.439 Team Menard
18 United States Buddy Rice 33.3599 +0.994 215.828 Team Cheever
19 United States Robbie Buhl 33.5761 +1.210 214.438 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
20 United States Sarah Fisher 33.5852 +1.220 214.380 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
21 United States Buddy Lazier 33.7884 +1.423 213.091 Hemelgarn Racing
Source:[3]

Race[edit]

Pos No Driver Team Laps Time/retired Grid Points
1 21 United States Alex Barron Mo Nunn Racing 200 2:12:39 6 50
2 4 United States Sam Hornish Jr. Panther Racing 200 +0.0121 secs 4 411
3 10 South Africa Tomas Scheckter Chip Ganassi Racing 200 +0.6686 secs 1 372
4 8 United States Scott Sharp Kelley Racing 200 +0.7108 secs 10 32
5 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 200 +2.3281 secs 2 30
6 12 Japan Tora Takagi Mo Nunn Racing 200 +2.4371 secs 11 28
7 6 Brazil Gil de Ferran Team Penske 200 +2.8965 secs 9 26
8 55 United States Roger Yasukawa (R) Fernández Racing 200 +8.7049 secs 12 24
9 31 United States Al Unser Jr. Kelley Racing 200 +33.4300 secs 5 22
10 13 United States Greg Ray Access Motorsports 199 +1 Lap 7 20
11 52 United States Buddy Rice Team Cheever 198 +2 Laps 18 19
12 91 United States Buddy Lazier Hemelgarn Racing 196 +4 Laps 21 18
13 24 United States Robbie Buhl Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 196 +4 Laps 19 17
14 14 United States A.J. Foyt IV (R) A.J. Foyt Enterprises 179 Gearbox 16 16
15 23 United States Sarah Fisher Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 167 Clutch 20 15
16 11 Brazil Tony Kanaan Andretti Green Racing 160 Engine 15 14
17 3 Brazil Helio Castroneves Team Penske 70 Radiator 3 13
18 15 Sweden Kenny Bräck Team Rahal 64 Contact 8 12
19 27 United States Bryan Herta Andretti Green Racing 37 Electrical 14 11
20 26 England Dan Wheldon (R) Andretti Green Racing 19 Engine 13 10
21 2 Brazil Vitor Meira Team Menard 16 Fuel leak 17 9
Source:[4]
  1. ^ Includes 1 bonus point for leading the most laps.
  2. ^ Includes 2 bonus points for pole position.

Race Statistics[edit]

  • Lead changes: 30 among 6 drivers

Standings after the race[edit]

Drivers' Championship standings
  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for the standings.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "IRL: Michigan: GM Racing race report". Motorsport.com. July 27, 2003. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  2. ^ indycar (2016-02-22), Top 10 Closest Finishes in INDYCAR History, retrieved 2017-10-08
  3. ^ "IRL: Michigan starting lineup". Motorsport.com. July 26, 2003. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  4. ^ "IRL: Michigan race results". Motorsport.com. July 27, 2003. Retrieved October 8, 2017.


Previous race:
2003 Firestone Indy 200
IndyCar Series
2003 season
Next race:
2003 Emerson Indy 250
Previous race:
2002 Michigan Indy 400
Firestone Indy 400 Next race:
2004 Michigan Indy 400