IRL: Pikes Peak: AGR/Franchitti race report

Franchitti fourth in Indycar^Ù series return FOUNTAIN, Colo. (June 15, 2003) -- Dario Franchitti returned to the ...

Franchitti fourth in Indycar^Ù series return

FOUNTAIN, Colo. (June 15, 2003) -- Dario Franchitti returned to the #27 Archipelago/Motorola Dallara/Honda/Firestone in fine fashion today, finishing fourth in the Honda Indy 225 at Pikes Peak International Raceway. It was Franchitti's first race since the Indy Racing League IndyCar^Ù Series event at Phoenix International Raceway (PPIR) in March.

The team unloaded with a fast car after testing at PPIR in May with Bryan Herta. Franchitti started the day seventh and never ran outside of the top-ten. After a fantastic pit stop on lap 92, Franchitti moved into the top-five where he would run the rest of the day. The 30- year-old made his final pit stop on lap 167 and the Archipelago/Motorola crew worked quickly, moving him to third. On the restart on lap 171, Franchitti moved around his teammate Tony Kanaan to grab the second spot. Kanaan was able to get back by him by lap 180. Franchitti continued in the third position until a restart on lap 219 when he lost the third position to Gil de Ferran as de Ferran pushed up the track in Turn 1, causing Franchitti into the marbles. The yellow flag came back out on lap 219 when Roger Yasukawa hit the Turn 1 wall causing the race to end under caution.

Scott Dixon claimed his second victory of the year, finishing ahead of second place Kanaan. Gil de Ferran finished third in the Honda Indy 225. Franchitti's teammate Dan Wheldon finished 19th today, battling a loose car all day before spinning on lap 215.

The IRL IndyCar^Ù Series season moves to Richmond International Raceway on Saturday June 28 for Round 7 of the 2003 championship.

Dario Franchitti, #27 Archipelago/Motorola:

"We were ahead of (Gil) de Ferran on the last restart and then we were blocked by some lapped cars, so we ran side-by-side into Turn 1 and he pretty much ran me up into the gray. That is how I lost third. It was a pretty exciting race for the Archipelago/Motorola team. It was hard out there. With the amount of downforce on these cars it gave me a great workout. This is a good way to come back after being out of the car for ten weeks. It is something to build on."

Kyle Moyer, Team Manager, Archipelago/Motorola

"I think we were looking pretty good for a third place finish and then on the last restart you have to pick the top or the bottom and we picked the wrong one. We had four lapped cars in front of us. We had a really good car all weekend and we need to thank Bryan Herta for his work during the test. We had great data to get a baseline setup and we had a really strong car today."

-AGR-

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Series IndyCar