Franchitti Leads Ganassi Charge In Toronto

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, July 10 2011

It was a good day for Target Chip Ganassi drivers Scott Dixon, front, and Dario Franchitti. They finished first and second in Toronto. (Photos courtesy of the IZOD IndyCar Series)


Dario Franchitti won Sunday’s crash-marred Honda Indy Toronto IZOD IndyCar Series race, beating his Target Chip Ganassi Racing treammate Scott Dixon to the finish line by .73 seconds.

Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport finished third and his teammate, Marco Andretti, was fourth.

Vitor Meira of A.J. Foyt Racing was fifth.

Numerous wrecks on the Toronto street course took out some of the top drivers, including Team Penske’s Will Power, who started the race from the pole.

There were eight cautions and numerous other wrecks that didn’t require full-course yellows.

Also among the crash victims were Tony Kanaan and Danica Patrick, who crashed twice. Kanaan’s crash came during the first couple laps when he and Ryan Briscoe tangled.

“I gave Briscoe plenty of room and he still took me out, Kanaan said. “It was too early in the race to be doing stupid moves like that. I had a good car and was moving up the field.”

Franchitti broke a tie with Rick Mears (29 wins) and is one behind Sebastien Bourdais and Paul Tracy, both of whom competed in the race. Will Power lost 36 points to Franchitti in the IZOD IndyCar Series championship chase with his second DNF in a row and trails by 55 heading to Edmonton.

“I was pretty happy just be in the company of Rick and J.R., and to get my 30th win today means a lot, especially here in Toronto, I got my first pole here in 1997,” Franchitti said. “I love racing in Canada.”

Power was one of the unhappy drivers afterward. He was knocked out of contention when he and Franchitti got together.

Power, who fell to a distant second in points to Franchitti with his DNF, laid the blame on

Dario Franchitti got a street-course victory on Sunday.


“It’s just a really disappointing finish for the Verizon car today,” Power said. “My team did a great job in the pits and we were working our way back toward the front and we got past (Dario) Franchitti. We went into the corner and I gave him room and then he just drove into me. I understood he was going to get penalized but then there was no call – I just don’t understand that.

“After that we were just trying to get the best result possible before Tag (Alex Tagliani) hit me from behind. It’s very tough to have two DNFs (did not finish) in a row.”

Franchitti accepted part of the blame.

“We had that incident with Will,” Franchitti said. “He outbraked himself to outbrake me and opened up the door, I went down the inside, I held the wall and Will came down. I put my nose in there, I was trying to get my nose out, but ultimately he closed the door and paid the price.”

Results Sunday of the Honda Indy Toronto IZOD IndyCar Series event on the 1.755 mile Streets of Toronto, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):”

1.  (3) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running”

2.  (2) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running”

3.  (8) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running”

4.  (20) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running”

5.  (14) Vitor Meira, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running”

6.  (7) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running”

7.  (10) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running”

8.  (22) JR Hildebrand, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running”

9.  (18) EJ Viso, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running”

10.  (17) Simona de Silvestro, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running”

11.  (26) Ana Beatriz, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running”

12.  (6) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running”

13.  (5) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running”

14.  (13) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Honda, 84, Running”

15.  (11) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 83, Running”

16.  (24) Paul Tracy, Dallara-Honda, 82, Running”

17.  (12) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Honda, 81, Running”

18.  (23) James Jakes, Dallara-Honda, 81, Running”

19.  (21) Danica Patrick, Dallara-Honda, 79, Running”

20.  (19) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 79, Running”

21.  (25) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Honda, 77, Contact

22.  (4) Mike Conway, Dallara-Honda, 76, Contact

23.  (9) Alex Tagliani, Dallara-Honda, 71, Contact

24.  (1) Will Power, Dallara-Honda, 66, Contact

25.  (15) Sebastian Saavedra, Dallara-Honda, 43, Contact

26.  (16) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Honda, 2, Contact

Race Statistics

Winners average speed:   76.805

Time of Race: 01:56:32.1501

Margin of victory: .7345 of a second

Cautions:  8 for 32 laps

Lead changes: 3 among 3 drivers

Lap Leaders: Power 1 – 32, Franchitti 33 – 48, Rahal 49 – 71, Franchitti 72 – 85

Point Standings: Franchitti 353, Power 298, Dixon 270, Servia 232, Kanaan 221, Briscoe 219, Andretti 216, Rahal 208, Hildebrand 193, Tagliani 173.

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, July 10 2011
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