Numbers Say Victory Was Big One For Franchitti

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Tuesday, May 29 2012

Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti received a standing ovation at the annual post-race banquet on Monday. (INDYCAR/LAT USA)

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer

Dario Franchitti earned $2,474,280 from an overall purse of $13,285,815 for his victory Sunday in the 96th Indianapolis 500, the Scotsman’s third win in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

Franchitti is just the 10th driver to win the crown jewel of open-wheel racing at least three times, having previously prevailed at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2007 and 2010.

“I’m very proud – and I’ve said this before – of the achievements, whether it’s Indy wins, championships, every one of the race wins,” said Franchitti, the four-time/reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion. “Sometimes I look back, but generally I’m trying to look forward. When I retire, that’s the time to look back and hang out with my friends, hang over the fence.”

Franchitti, who started 16th, took the lead for good in his No. 50 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda on Lap 199 of the 200 from teammate Scott Dixon and overcame an ill-fated passing attempt by Takuma Sato in Turn 1 on the final lap. Sato, of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, spun and hit the SAFER Barrier in Turn 1, while Franchitti hung on to win the race under caution.

Franchitti, who turned 40 on May 19 during Pole Day qualifications, led seven times for 23 laps in a race that set an Indianapolis 500 record with 34 lead changes.

Franchitti’s past two Indy 500 victories and past three series titles have been with Target Chip Ganassi Racing – a team whose roster of winning drivers throughout its 22-year history includes Juan Pablo

Mike Hull of Target Chip Ganassi Racing. (Photo courtesy of the IndyCar Series)

Montoya, Jimmy Vasser, Michael Andretti, Arie Luyendyk and Alex Zanardi.

“In Dario’s case, we have a guy that hasn’t reached his midlife crisis yet, that drives with the experience of his age, but he comes to work every day with the enthusiasm and the intent of an 18-year-old,” said Mike Hull, TCGR managing director. “That’s a pretty tough combination to beat.”

The Indianapolis 500 purse consists of IMS and IZOD IndyCar Series awards, plus other designated and special awards. Purse awards were announced and presented at the Victory Awards Celebration presented by Ice Miller LLP on Monday at the Speedway.

Dixon, the 2008 Indianapolis 500 champion, brought his No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda up from the 15th starting position to finish second and earn $1,102,280. It was Dixon’s seventh consecutive top-six finish at IMS.

Tony Kanaan, the 2004 IndyCar Series champion, posted the fifth top-five Indianapolis 500 finish of his career by placing third in the No. 11 GEICO/Mouser Electronics KV Racing Technology Dallara/Chevrolet. Kanaan earned $636,580.

Oriol Servia climbed 23 spots from his 27th starting position – more positions gained than any other driver – to finish an Indy 500-best fourth in his No. 22 Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara/Chevrolet. He earned $443,430.

After winning the closest battle for the pole in the history of the Indianapolis 500 on May 19, Ryan Briscoe rounded out the top five finishers in the No. 2 IZOD Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet and earned $489,930.

Formula One veteran Rubens Barrichello won the Chase Rookie of the Year Award after placing 11th in

Rubens Barrichello was named top rookie at Indy. (INDYCAR/LAT USA)

the No. 8 BMC/Embrase KV Racing Technology Dallara/Chevrolet. The highest-finishing rookie, Barrichello’s total earnings were $331,080 including a $25,000 bonus from Chase. The Chase Rookie of the Year Award was the second major career achievement by Barrichello at IMS, where the Brazilian also won the 2002 United States Grand Prix Formula One race with Scuderia Ferrari.

The 97th Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for Sunday, May 26, 2013. Ticket information is available at www.imstix.com or by calling the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700 or (800) 822-INDY.

Numbers worth noting following the 96th Indianapolis 500, the fifth of 16 events of the 2012 IZOD Indy Car Series season:

1 _ Driver who has completed every lap of every race in the first five IndyCar Series events: James Hinchcliffe of Andretti Autosport.

4 _ Drivers to lead the Indianapolis 500 for the first time: James Hinchcliffe of Andretti Autosport, Takuma Sato of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Charlie Kimball Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing and Rubens Barrichello of KV Racing Technology.

5 _ Indianapolis 500 wins for car-owner Chip Ganassi (1989, 2000, 2009, 2010 and 2012). Ganassi tied Lou Moore for second among Indianapolis 500 wining car owners.

6 _ Different teams represented in the top 10 in the IndyCar Series standings.

8 _ Different teams represented in the top 10 of the 96th Indianapolis 500.

9 _ Different drivers to finish on the podium in the first five races of 2012.

16 _ Starting position of race-winner Dario Franchitti. The only other driver to win from 16th position was the late Dan Wheldon in 2005.

23 _ Positions gained by Oriol Servia of Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing en route to his season-best performance of fourth.

31 _ Indy-car wins for Dario Franchitti, tying him with Sebastien Bourdais of Dragon Racing and Paul Tracy as the active leader.

34 _ Lead changes among 10 drivers. It was the most lead changes in the 101-year history of the Indianapolis 500.

36 _ Points separating Team Penske’s Will Power (200) from teammate Helio Castroneves and James Hinchcliffe (164) in the IndyCar Series championship standings.

50 _ Number carried by Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti for the first time.

59 _ Laps-led by Andretti Autosport’s Marco Andretti, who had led 31 laps at IMS during his previous six starts. It was the seventh time an Andretti had led the most laps at Indianapolis. Mario, Marco’s grandfather, led the most laps in 1969, 1985, 1987 and 1993. Michael, Marco’s father, led the most laps in 1991 and 1992.

62 _ Positions gained by Oriol Servia in the first five races of 2012, an average of 12.2 per race.

91 _ Degrees, the high temperature in Indianapolis on Sunday _ tying 1919 and 1953 as the second-hottest 500 Race Day.

109 _ Top-five finishes for Dario Franchitti during his Indy-car racing career.

186 _ Consecutive Indy-car starts for Tony Kanaan of KV Racing Technology, dating to the 2001 Championship Auto Racing Teams event in Portland, Ore.

1,366 _ Consecutive laps completed by Scott Dixon of Target Chip Ganassi Racing at the Indianapolis 500, a race record. The previous record stood for 71 years and belonged to the legendary Wilbur Shaw, who completed 1,351 consecutive laps from 1935-41.

The next IZOD IndyCar Series race is Sunday’s Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park. The race will be televised by ABC at 3:30 p.m. (EDT) and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network on SiriusXM (XM 94 and Sirius 212). The next Firestone Indy Lights race is the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix on Saturday, also at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park. The race will be televised by NBC Sports Network at 5 p.m. (EDT) on June 7 and broadcast live by the IMS Radio Network.

Results of the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500 on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis/engine, laps completed and reason out (if any) and money won:

1. (16) Dario Franchitti, Dallara/Honda, 200, Running, $2,474,280

2. (15) Scott Dixon, Dallara/Honda, 200, Running, $1,102,280

3. (8) Tony Kanaan, Dallara/Chevrolet, 200, Running, $636,580

4. (27) Oriol Servia, Dallara/Chevrolet, 200, Running, $443,430

5. (1) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara/Chevrolet, 200, Running, $489,930

6. (2) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara/Chevrolet, 200, Running, $357,680

7. (21) Justin Wilson, Dallara/Honda, 200, Running, $303,430

8. (14) Charlie Kimball, Dallara/Honda, 200, Running, $277,655

9. (20) Townsend Bell, Dallara/Honda, 200, Running, $251,305

10. (6) Helio Castroneves, Dallara/Chevrolet, 200, Running, $308,930

11. (10) Rubens Barrichello, Dallara/Chevrolet, 200, Running, $331,080

12. (11) Alex Tagliani, Dallara/Honda, 200, Running, $252,205

13. (12) Graham Rahal, Dallara/Honda, 200, Running, $306,680

14. (18) JR Hildebrand, Dallara/Chevrolet, 200, Running, $306,680

15. (17) James Jakes, Dallara/Honda, 200, Running, $252,555

16. (23) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara/Honda, 200, Running, $303,680

17. (19) Takuma Sato, Dallara/Honda, 199, Contact,$301,755

18. (9) E.J. Viso, Dallara/Chevrolet, 199, Running, $303,430

19. (22) Michel Jourdain Jr., Dallara/Honda, 199, Running, $253,305

20. (25) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara/Chevrolet, 199, Running, $252,805

21. (28) Ed Carpenter, Dallara/Chevrolet, 199, Running, $304,930

22. (30) Katherine Legge, Dallara/Chevrolet, 199, Running, $303,680

23. (13) Ana Beatriz, Dallara/Chevrolet, 190, Running, $252,805

24. (4) Marco Andretti, Dallara/Chevrolet, 187, Contact, $368,480

25. (7) Josef Newgarden, Dallara/Honda, 161, Mechanical, $257,805

26. (24) Sebastian Saavedra, Dallara/Chevrolet, 143, Electrical, $256,305

27. (3) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara/Chevrolet, 123, Suspension, $346,680

28. (5) Will Power, Dallara/Chevrolet, 79, Contact, $310,430

29. (29) Mike Conway, Dallara/Honda, 78, Contact, $305,430

30. (31) Bryan Clauson, Dallara/Honda, 46, Mechanical, $258,055

31. (26) Wade Cunningham, Dallara/Honda, 42, Electrical, $251,555

32. (32) Simona de Silvestro, Dallara/Lotus, 10, Handling, $303,430

33. (33) Jean Alesi, Dallara/Lotus, 9, Handling, $251,555

Race Statistics

Winner’s average speed: 167.734 mph. Time of Race: 02:58:51.2532. Margin of victory: Under Caution. Cautions: 8 for 39 laps. Lead changes: 34 among 10 drivers.

Lap Leaders: Hinchcliffe 1, Briscoe 2-4, Hinchcliffe 5-6, Briscoe 7-15, Hinchcliffe 16-17, Briscoe 18-19, Andretti 20-21, Briscoe 22, Andretti 23-44, Tagliani 45-46, Dixon 47, Kimball 48-49, Andretti 50-73, Dixon 74-78, Kimball 79, Andretti 80-90, Dixon 91-118, Sato 119-123, Barrichello 124-125, Sato 126-146, Dixon 147, Sato 148-152, Franchitti 153-159, Dixon 160, Franchitti 161-162, Dixon 163-171, Franchitti 172-173, Dixon 174-176, Franchitti 177, Dixon 178, Franchitti 179-186, Kanaan 187-193, Franchitti 194, Dixon 195-198, Franchitti 199-200.

Point Standings: Power 200, Castroneves 164, Hinchcliffe 164, Dixon 153, Hunter-Reay 143, Franchitti 136, Pagenaud 136, Briscoe 128, Kanaan 113, Hildebrand 103.

– John Sturbin can be reached at jsturbin@racintoday.com

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Tuesday, May 29 2012
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