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Published: Sunday, 7/15/2007

Hornish, Kanaan apologize for fight


GLADEVILLE, Tenn. - Tony Kanaan and Sam Hornish Jr. apologized to each other yesterday about a tussle between the drivers after last week's race.

IndyCar series officials punished everyone involved, but the drivers avoided a reconciliation until after the drivers' meeting for the Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville Superspeedway.

"We had a nice conversation," Kanaan said. "Everything is cool. We're all professionals."

Kanaan cut in front of Hornish after the checkered flag last week because he was upset that Hornish bumped him trying to pass early in the race, a move the Brazilian felt cost him positioning and nearly knocked him out of the race. Kanaan finished fourth, while Hornish was second.

Kanaan initially denied he hit Hornish's car, but acknowledged yesterday there was some contact.

"I apologized for coming into the pits that hot," he said. "I had no intention of hitting him."

Once in the pits, Hornish's father pushed Kanaan and then was knocked to the ground by members of Kanaan's crew. The drivers were fined unspecified amounts, and Hornish's father was banned from the pits for the Nashville race.

Kanaan's team, Andretti Green Racing, and Hornish's team, Team Penske, were fined $25,000 each for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The teams are also on probation until Dec. 31.

Hornish said he is happy that the issues with Kanaan are now resolved.

"I tried to stay away from most all of the talk because everyone was wrong on some points," he said.

Hornish and Kanaan said the tussle was unusual and unexpected because there has never been any bad blood between them.

"I think it was just a hot day where a lot of people were frustrated," Hornish said.

RAIN WASHES OUT RACE: The IRL Firestone Indy 200 was postponed last night and rescheduled for today, marking the first rainout in the IndyCar Series in seven years.

The cars made it as far as the starting grid before the rain. The showers slowed several times, but downpours followed after workers tried to dry the track.

After a delay of nearly three hours, the race at Nashville Superspeedway was rescheduled for this afternoon. It was the first rain postponement in the IndyCar Series since June, 2000, at the Texas Motor Speedway.

Scott Dixon is slated to start the race from the pole, followed by Dario Franchitti, Kanaan, and Hornish.

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