Pit Incident Leads to 11th-Place Finish for Franchitti in Klein Tools/Jim Beam Car MOTEGI, Japan (April 22, 2006) - Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dario Franchitti ran amid the leaders for nearly three-quarters of Saturday's Bridgestone Indy Japan...
Pit Incident Leads to 11th-Place Finish for Franchitti in Klein Tools/Jim Beam Car
MOTEGI, Japan (April 22, 2006) - Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dario Franchitti ran amid the leaders for nearly three-quarters of Saturday's Bridgestone Indy Japan 300 before an incident in the pits put him a lap down and effectively ended his day. After three races, he stands ninth in the Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series driver championship, only 26 points out of fifth place.
Franchitti took advantage of an incredible start, gaining five positions in the first three laps of the 200-lap event. After starting in 10th position, Franchitti moved into the top three less than 30 laps into the race and found himself there again when he entered the pits on lap 145. As he was entering his pit box, Franchitti moved over the timing and scoring line that was slightly raised on pit lane. As he did, the car took off and hit the tire that was going to replace the one on the inside rear of his car. That tire struck crewman Steve Price who was taken to an area hospital for further evaluation.
Helio Castroneves won his second-consecutive race of the 2006 season and was followed across the line by Dan Wheldon. Franchitti's AGR teammate Tony Kanaan finished third followed by Sam Hornish Jr. and Buddy Rice.
Up next on the IndyCar Series schedule is the 90th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 28. The green flag drops on The Greatest Spectacle in Racing at 1 p.m. (EDT) with ABC Sports providing live coverage of the event beginning at 12 p.m. (EDT). The race can also be heard live by XM Satellite Radio subscribers on XM channel 145, the official home of the IndyCar Series.
Dario Franchitti, #27 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
"I don't really know what to say at this point. We didn't have a winning car today but the Klein Tools/Jim Beam car was a good third-place car, which we are not delighted about but certainly would have taken it. We knew about the massive bump at the entrance to our pit box but the car had been taking off and going straight during practice. For some reason in the race, the car took off and went left and hit Pricey. Obviously we're worried about him and hope he's okay."
John Anderson, Team Manager, #27 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
"The Klein Tools/Jim Beam car was pretty good today and probably the quickest of the AGR cars. Unfortunately we talked about the bump in the pits all weekend, but thought we had overcome it. You have good days and bad days; you just have to keep working toward the next one. We're all concerned about Pricey, but will be ready to get on the track at Indianapolis."