IRL: Motegi: Dario Franchitti race report

Canadian Club's Franchitti Drives to a Season-Best Third in Indy Japan 300 MOTEGI, Japan. (April 21, 2007) -- Canadian Club driver Dario Franchitti ran amid the leaders throughout the Indy Japan 300 and piloted the ...

Canadian Club's Franchitti Drives to a Season-Best Third in Indy Japan 300

MOTEGI, Japan. (April 21, 2007) -- Canadian Club driver Dario Franchitti ran amid the leaders throughout the Indy Japan 300 and piloted the #27 machine to his first podium finish of the year. After three races, he stands tied for fifth in the IndyCar Series driver championship, only 27 points behind the leader.

Franchitti wasted no time moving through the field once he took the green flag. After just 76 laps, Franchitti was into the top three after starting seventh. Franchitti slipped back to seventh position after the first yellow flag pit stop, but took advantage of the speed of the Canadian Club car and moved back into third mid-way through the race. During an extended yellow on lap 136, the Canadian Club team took a risk in Franchitti's fuel strategy to put him in a place to fight Tony Kanaan and Dan Wheldon for the win. In attempts to save fuel, Franchitti was forced to slow his pace during the final laps and captured his second career top-three at Twin Ring Motegi.

Teammate Tony Kanaan captured his first win of the 2007 season and was followed across the finish line by Dan Wheldon. Rounding out the top five in addition to Franchitti were Scott Dixon and Sam Hornish Jr. in fourth and fifth, respectively.

Dario Franchitti, #27 Canadian Club Dallara/Honda/Firestone:

"Today started off pretty well for us. We moved up quickly. Then we made a small mistake on the first stop, but we made our way back through the field and were running in third. The car was really fast. I was really happy with the way the Canadian Club car was working today. At the end, the Canadian Club crew took a gamble on fuel. We thought our only real chance of winning was to take that gamble on fuel strategy. It was almost an impossible miles per gallon number to make. At the end of the day, the result was still the same with a third place finish. We had to take the gamble to try to get the win. I thought we had as good a car as TK (Tony Kanaan) and Dan (Wheldon). I think I could have hung with them, but I don't think I could have caught up with them."

John Anderson, Race Strategist, #27 Canadian Club Dallara/Honda/Firestone:

"It was an awesome day. The fuel strategy worked out for us. We set a goal for fuel that was virtually unattainable, but we were so close. Every driver wants to race and not against fuel mileage. It was a great morale boost for the whole team getting a first and third."

-credit: agr

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , John Anderson