Tue, Jul 29, 2003 - Page 19 News List

Alex Barron has record run in the Firestone 400

AP , BROOKLYN, MICHIGAN

Alex Barron passed Sam Hornish Jr. coming out of the final turn to win the Firestone 400 on Sunday with the fastest average speed in Indy Racing League history, 291.093kph.

Barron won by just 0.0121 seconds, the fourth-closest race in the league's eight years. His second career victory came only because he avoided what could have been the end of his race on the 164th lap at Michigan International Speedway.

Side-by-side contact with Tomas Scheckter made Barron's car wiggle, slide to the infield and turn 180 degrees before he was able to straighten out the car. The crowd of more than 30,000 gave him a standing ovation.

"I wasn't really scared," Barron said. "I was more worried about damaging the car, because we were having such a great day."

Scheckter, whose only win was in Michigan last season and who started on the pole Sunday, finished third, followed by Scott Sharp. Scott Dixon's fifth-place finish was good enough to give him the season points lead -- by one -- over Tony Kanaan, who dropped out on the 151st lap with engine failure.

Helio Castroneves' streak without a victory extended to 19 races, dating to his second straight Indianapolis 500 title last year.

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