IRL: Chicagoland: Dario Franchitti race report

FRANCHITTI ENDURES LONG DAY AT CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY JOLIET, Ill. (Sept. 11, 2005) - ArcaEx driver Dario Franchitti suffered a misfortunate tire puncture early, then endured a mechanical problem with the car en route to a 12th-place finish...

FRANCHITTI ENDURES LONG DAY AT CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY

JOLIET, Ill. (Sept. 11, 2005) - ArcaEx driver Dario Franchitti suffered a misfortunate tire puncture early, then endured a mechanical problem with the car en route to a 12th-place finish in Sunday's running of the Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway.

Franchitti started from the 10th position and had moved into the top five when the race was red-flagged do to a three-car incident on lap 20. But Franchitti was moved to the back of the field after the team changed a punctured tire caused while driving through the debris. Franchitti again advanced towards the leaders, but a broken weight-jacker forced him to endure an ill-handling car over the remainder of the event.

Teammate Dan Wheldon earned his sixth win of the season. Helio Castroneves was second, Sam Hornish Jr. finished third, Tomas Scheckter was fourth and teammate Tony Kanaan was fifth.

Through 15 events, Franchitti stands fourth in the driver points standings with 413 points, 170 points shy of points leader Wheldon.

Next up for Franchitti and the rest of the IndyCar Series teams is the Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, Sept. 25. The event will be televised live by ABC, beginning at 3:30 p.m. (EDT). It can also be heard live by XM Satellite Radio subscribers by tuning into Extreme XM, channel 152.

Dario Franchitti, #27 ArcaEx Dallara/Honda/Firestone:

"It was a terrible day for us. It was good to hear that Ryan Briscoe is okay and that Dan moved closer to the championship. We ran well and got up front, then the IRL made the decision to keep us running through the debris of Briscoe's wreckage. They open the pits, we made a pit stop, then rather than red-flag the race they continued to run us through the debris field and we picked up a screw in one of the tires which should never have happened. They let us change the tire but put us at the back of the field. After that we lost our weight- jacker and that made it pretty difficult. Then we lost a lot of time in our last pit stop which caused us to lose contact with the lead pack and we went with a different strategy which didn't pan out. It was just a long day."

Kyle Moyer, General Manager, Andretti Green Racing:

"It was a tough day for the ArcaEx team. We had a good car for part of the day and part of the day we didn't. It was a great day for Dan and now the championship is down to two of our AGR teammates and that's all that matters."

-agr-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Helio Castroneves , Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Ryan Briscoe