FRANCHITTI EARNS THIRD-PLACE FINISH AT HONDA GRAND PRIX ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (April 3, 2005) - ArcaEx driver Dario Franchitti drove to a third-place finish, which, combined with Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon's victory, a second-place...
FRANCHITTI EARNS THIRD-PLACE FINISH AT HONDA GRAND PRIX
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (April 3, 2005) - ArcaEx driver Dario Franchitti drove to a third-place finish, which, combined with Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon's victory, a second-place finish by Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan and a fourth-place effort by XM Satellite Radio driver Bryan Herta, gave Andretti Green Racing the first top-four sweep in Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series history at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
Starting the event from fourth place, Franchitti proved to have the fastest car on the track. But the ArcaEx car was plagued by refueling problems throughout the day, as it was only able to take on 22 gallons of methanol at each refueling stop rather than the allowable 30 gallons of fuel, causing the Scotsman to make additional refueling stops
But he repeatedly charged through the field. After dropping back to 12th position following a yellow- flag stop for a splash of fuel on Lap 81, Franchitti moved into eighth place on lap 85, was in the fourth position on lap 86 and took over his eventually finishing spot of third place on lap 95.
Through three events, Franchitti has 79 points, residing sixth in the driver point standings, just two points shy of fifth-place Vitor Meira and three shy of fourth-place Helio Castroneves.
Franchitti and the rest of the IndyCar Series teams return to action in four weeks when they travel to Motegi, Japan, for the Indy Japan 300 on Saturday, April 30. The event will be televised live by ESPN2, beginning at 12 a.m. (EDT).
Dario Franchitti, #27 ArcaEx Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
"The ArcaEx car was absolute dynamite today. But we had a fuel problem in the pits and we couldn't take on a full load of fuel so we had to keep making more stops than everybody else, which definitely hurt us. On the one hand I'm upset that we didn't' win, but on the other hand a '1-2-3-4' finish for Andretti Green Racing and Honda is a pretty 'mega' achievement."
Kyle Moyer, General Manager, Andretti Green Racing:
"The ArcaEx team battled refueling problems all day. For some reason we were only able to get a maximum of 22 gallons in the tank when it holds 30, so we had to change pit strategy about four times regarding what we were going to do. Dario drove the wheels off the car and got what he could. We had the best car again, as we did in Phoenix, but didn't get the win. However, it was a great day for Andretti Green Racing as finishing '1-2-3-4' is all that matters."