FRANCHITTI COLLECTS $1 MILLION CHAMPION'S BONUS INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2007 -- A few days after winning the 2007 IndyCarÂ® Series championship, Dario Franchitti was honored for his first open-wheel title in the United ...
FRANCHITTI COLLECTS $1 MILLION CHAMPION'S BONUS
INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2007 -- A few days after winning the 2007 IndyCar® Series championship, Dario Franchitti was honored for his first open-wheel title in the United States.
Franchitti and Indy Pro Series champion Alex Lloyd -- along with other drivers, teams and manufacturers -- were recognized during the Indy Racing League Championship Celebration at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Brian Barnhart, president of the competition and operations division of the Indy Racing League, sanctioning body of the IndyCar Series, presented Franchitti with a $1 million championship bonus check and a mini IndyCar Series championship trophy. A mini IndyCar Series championship trophy also was awarded to Andretti Green Racing owners Michael Andretti, Kim Green and Kevin Savoree.
"The championship means a lot." said Franchitti, who earned an IndyCar Series-record $4,017,583 this season. "It's been kind of elusive. I've been over here 10 years and I've won a lot of races, but to finally win it means a lot. I didn't realize what it did mean until I crossed the finish line (Sunday). I'm just so happy. To do that and the 500 in one year, I'm really proud."
In addition to the championship bonus, Franchitti accepted the $10,000 Bosch Platinum Award and received a $100,000 diamond-encrusted champion's timepiece from Ritmo Mundo.
Jeff Grahn, chief mechanic for Franchitti's No. 27 Canadian Club Honda-powered Dallara, accepted the Hitachi Power Tools IndyCar Series Chief Mechanic of the Year Award and its $25,000 prize.
Ryan Hunter-Reay of Rahal Letterman Racing accepted the $50,000 Bombardier LearJet Rookie of the Year Award. Tomas Scheckter of Vision Racing accepted the Xtrac Championship Award and its $5,000 prize.
Lloyd accepted the Firestone Firehawk Cup along with a $5,000 award from Lincoln Electric, the $5,000 prize as the winner of the Oxley Financial Group Lap Leader Award and a $5,000 "Securing Tomorrow Award" from Gregory & Appel Insurance for winning the most races of any driver.
"It's really been such a great year for me and for the team," said Lloyd, who won a series-record eight races.. "I'm just so appreciative of Sam Schmidt and the entire team for the great job they did for me the whole year. They really made my job easy."
John Roof Jr., chief mechanic for Lloyd's No. 7 Lucas Oil/Isilon/Sam Schmidt Motorsports entry, accepted $5,000 as Mo'sGold Chief Mechanic of the Year.
Hideki Mutoh of Super Aguri-Panther Racing won $10,000 as Lucas Oil Rookie of the Year, while Jaime Camara of Andretti Green Racing/AFS Racing, Inc., claimed the Sunoco Most Improved Driver and its $10,000 prize for improving the most total positions during the 2007 season.
IndyCar Series award winners
Championship driver: Dario Franchitti
Herff Jones Championship Driver Award (ring valued at $5,000): Dario Franchitti
Ritmo Mundo Championship Driver Award (diamond watch valued at $100,000): Dario Franchitti
Canon Championship Award (Prize package valued at $2,000): Dario Franchitti and Jeff Grahn
Championship team: Andretti Green Racing
Championship team sponsor: Canadian Club
Championship general manager: Kyle Moyer
Hitachi Power Tools Chief Mechanic of the Year Award ($25,000 and set of Hitachi Power Tools): Jeff Grahn
Bombardier Rookie of the Year Award ($50,000): Ryan Hunter-Reay
Second place championship driver: Scott Dixon
Second place championship team: Target Chip Ganassi Racing
Third place championship driver: Tony Kanaan
Third place championship team: Andretti Green Racing
BOSCH Platinum Award ($10,000 for highest-finishing driver using Bosch spark plugs): Dario Franchitti
Xtrac Championship Award ($5,000 for driver who won most Xtrac Awards during 2007): Tomas Scheckter
Manufacturer Recognition Awards: Honda, Firestone, Ethanol, Delphi, Dallara, Xtrac, and K&N Filters
Indy Pro Series award winners
Championship driver (mini Firehawk Cup): Alex Lloyd
Herff Jones Championship Driver Award (ring valued at $4,000): Alex Lloyd
Ritmo Mundo Championship Driver Award (watch valued at $25,000): Alex Lloyd
Lincoln Electric Company Championship Driver Award ($5,000): Alex Lloyd
Championship team (mini Firehawk Cup): Sam Schmidt Motorsports
Lincoln Electric Company Championship Team Award (welding product): Sam Schmidt Motorsports
Mo'sGold Chief Mechanic of the Year: John Roof Jr.
Second place championship driver: Hideki Mutoh
Second place championship team: Super Aguri-Panther Racing
Lincoln Electric Company Second Place Championship Team Award (welding product): Super Aguri-Panther Racing
Third place championship driver: Wade Cunningham
Third place championship team: AFS Racing Inc./Andretti Green Racing
Lincoln Electric Company Third Place Championship Team Award (welding product): AFS Racing Inc./Andretti Green Racing
Lucas Oil Rookie of the Year ($10,000): Hideki Mutoh
The Oxley Financial Group Lap Leader Award ($5,000): Alex Lloyd
Gregory & Appel "Securing Tomorrow" Award ($5,000): Alex Lloyd
Sunoco Most Improved Driver ($10,000): Jaime Camara