IRL: Fontana: AGR, Dario Franchitti preview

Dario Franchitti on the California Indy 400: "We're getting close to the end of the season, and for me, the points battle for fourth, fifth and sixth with Adrian (Fernandez) and Helio (Castroneves) is pretty tight right now. We're focused on...

Dario Franchitti on the California Indy 400:

"We're getting close to the end of the season, and for me, the points battle for fourth, fifth and sixth with Adrian (Fernandez) and Helio (Castroneves) is pretty tight right now. We're focused on what we've been trying to do every weekend, which is to win the race. Hopefully, with the way the Honda engine has been performing and things we've learned recently, we can come up with a quick car that will get the job done."

Dario Franchitti Facts

California will mark Franchitti's 19th career IndyCar Series start and will be his sixth open-wheel appearance at California Speedway.

Entering the California event, Franchitti has recorded top-three finishes in two of the last three races.

Franchitti earned his second IndyCar Series victory of the season at Pikes Peak on Aug. 22.

Franchitti earned his first IndyCar Series victory at Milwaukee on July 25.

Franchitti's win at Pikes Peak was the third oval-track victory of his career.

Both of Franchitti's victories this season have come on 1-mile ovals.

Franchitti has dominated the two races which he's won this season, leading 111 of 225 laps at Milwaukee, and 128 of 225 laps at Pikes Peak.

The driver of the #27 ArcaEx entry ranks third in laps led in 2004 with 347. The only drivers to lead more laps than Franchitti this season are his teammates, Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan (859) and Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon (415).

Franchitti's winning effort at Pikes Peak marked the third IndyCar Series victory by the ArcaEx team, as they also won at Kansas in July 2003, with driver Bryan Herta at the wheel.

Franchitti has recorded five top-five finishes this season (Pikes Peak - 1st, Milwaukee - 1st, Texas - 2nd, Nazareth - 3rd, Kansas - 4th).

Franchitti earned his first MBNA Pole Award when he qualified on pole position at Texas.

Franchitti has 12 major open-wheel racing victories and 12 career pole positions.

Allen McDonald, Race Engineer, #27 ArcaEx Dallara/Honda/Firestone, on the California Indy 400:

"The goal of the ArcaEx team is to close out the season with two strong results. We've had increasingly good results over the past several races and we look to again give Dario a race car that he can take to the front of the field."

-AGR-

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Series INDYCAR