IRL: Homestead: Dario Franchitti race report

Franchitti finishes 7th in Indy Racing League opener. HOMESTEAD, Florida (March 2, 2003) -- Battling a handling problem with his ...

Franchitti finishes 7th in Indy Racing League opener.

HOMESTEAD, Florida (March 2, 2003) -- Battling a handling problem with his #27 Alpine/Archipelago/Motorola Dallara/Honda/Firestone, Dario Franchitti finished seventh today in the Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Starting from the inside of the fourth row, the 29-year-old Scotsman moved up two positions on the start and made up positions on every restart but the balance on Franchitti's car continually declined during the long periods of green flag racing. The Alpine/Archipelago/Motorola crew performed flawlessly today completing four pit stops and moving Franchitti into position to capitalize on the race restarts.

Scott Dixon claimed his first IndyCar Series win and 50 championship points today beating Gil de Ferran (42 points) to the checkered flag by a little more than half-a-second. De Ferran's teammate Helio Castroneves (35 points) finished third. Franchitti's technical partners, Tony Kanaan (32 points) and Michael Andretti (28 points), finished fourth and sixth respectively for Team 7- Eleven after starting from the front row.

The IRL IndyCar Series season moves to Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday March 23rd for Round 2 of the 2003 championship.

Dario Franchitti , Alpine/Archipelago/Motorola:
"It was a very frustrating weekend because we had the same imbalance on the Alpine/Archipelago/Motorola car through every session. We made a good start and gained some positions but we picked up more and more understeer as the run went on. As the car got slower people began to pass me. We kept improving the car as the race went on and I must say I think we had the best car on restarts. We made positions up every restart but as the run went on the imbalance in the car kept returning. I think it says a lot for Andretti Green Racing that all three team cars finished in the top-seven in our first race. We should be proud of that. It's not where we wanted to finish but it is something to build on."

Kyle Moyer , Team Manager, Alpine/Archipelago/Motorola
"In its first IRL event, Andretti Green Racing put two cars on the front row and finished all three cars in the top-seven. That's more than I expected and I think it's really good for the team. Our pit stops were awesome today and now we know what we need in the race. We are still learning about the car but it's all baby steps from here."

-AGR-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan