FRANCHITTI TAKES POINTS LEADS WITH HONDA INDY TORONTO VICTORY TORONTO - Sunday, July 12, 2009 - Dario Franchitti held off Ryan Briscoe to claim his third win of the season at the Honda Indy Toronto on the street of Exhibition Place. Franchitti...
FRANCHITTI TAKES POINTS LEADS WITH HONDA INDY TORONTO VICTORY
TORONTO - Sunday, July 12, 2009 - Dario Franchitti held off Ryan Briscoe to claim his third win of the season at the Honda Indy Toronto on the street of Exhibition Place.
Franchitti beat Briscoe to the checkered flag by 1.6745 seconds. Will Power, making his first start since the Indianapolis 500 in May, finished third. Franchitti's teammate, Scott Dixon, was fourth followed by Watkins Glen race winner Justin Wilson.
In an 85-lap race that included something for everyone - passing, crashing, cheers and jeers - favorite son Paul Tracy was in contention early but retired after colliding with the No. 3 Team Penske car driven by Helio Castroneves with 18 laps left; Quebec native Alex Tagliani led laps for the first time in the IndyCar Series; Tomas Scheckter threw his gloves at Tagliani's car following a Lap 75 incident that knocked him out; and Danica Patrick advanced 12 positions to finish sixth.
Franchitti, who gained three bonus points for winning the PEAK Performance Pole Award and leading the most laps, regained the championship points lead by two over Dixon through 10 of 17 events. Franchitti passed Castroneves for the lead in Turn 2 of Lap 65 and held off multiple challenges and two restarts.
DAY 3 NOTEBOOK:
Paul Tracy will be carrying the names of his many Canadians with him during today's Honda Indy Toronto. Tracy's race day firesuit has been on display at Exhibition Place this weekend and for a small donation to woundedwarriors.ca, fans had the opportunity to sign Tracy's suit.
"Racing in Canada has always been very important to me," said Tracy, a native of nearby Scarborough, Ontario. "I really appreciate all the fan support I get here and to be able to race in support of Wounded Warriors.ca is an honor."
HONDA INDY TORONTO POST-RACE NOTES:
* This is Dario Franchitti's third win of the season and the 11th win of his IndyCar Series career.
* This is Target Chip Ganassi Racing's sixth victory of the season and its 30th in the IndyCar Series.
* Ryan Briscoe finished second. He has finished second in five of the last six races.
* Will Power finished third, his second podium in four starts this season. Power has finished sixth of better in all four of his starts this year.
* Scott Dixon finished fourth, his fifth-straight top-five finish.
* Justin Wilson finished fifth, his third top-five finish of the season.
HONDA INDY TORONTO POST-RACE QUOTES:
DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing, winner Honda Indy Toronto): "I guess we timed it right with strategy. We really struggled in that first stint, towards the end. We really used up the reds and I was struggling. Then I got stuck by some really slow cars in the middle stint - (Mario)_Moraes in particular didn't do the same thing twice in any corner, so I just stayed out of his way, but I couldn't get past him. Then we came in (to the pits) just as it went yellow, and it helped me get close to the front. I passed a couple cars and then on the restarts, I was able to take off. The Target car was fast on the restarts and we were really able to take off. It's 10 years since my first one here and it feel good."
(About team owner Chip Ganassi missing the race): "I spent a lot of years chasing the Target cars here and finishing behind. I have to thank Chip. He gave me the opportunity to come back here and drive these cars. So, thanks."
RYAN BRISCOE (No. 6 Team Penske, finished second): "It was a tough day. I got run into going into Turn 3 on the first lap and cut a tire. That really put us back. We made some pretty dramatic changes to the car coming into the race today. We just had our fingers crossed going into it. The car felt awesome and we were able to put in some really good lap times. It was a fun race with lots of passing.
WILL POWER: (No. 12 Penske Truck Rentals, finished third): "We were almost a lap down, and I didn't realized that I hadn't done my two laps on the reds, so we had to pit again and put the reds on til the end. It was a good result. I had so much fun. I never passed so many cars before in a race."
(About the start): "I think the car went sideways, and touched Graham Rahal's front wing."
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing, finished fourth): "The car was really good. We were strong today. I think we probably made the most passes. Our pit team was pretty good also. I'm pleased with the car but not with the result. All-in-all I think we had a really decent day we just got really screwed on that pit strategy, when the yellow comes out and you get stuck all the way in the back."
JUSTIN WILSON (No. 18 Z-Line Designs, finished fifth): "It was ok, not too bad. Thats how it goes some days. We just had to survive and it was pretty tough out there. I think it got us some good points, but that's racing, you just have to keep working at it and sometimes things go your way and sometimes they don't"
(About battle with Will Power): "I think Will got a run on me to get position, and then Will was just plain blocking, so since that last restart he slowed right down and let the leaders pull away and then did his own restart. It's just how it goes. We beat up on Penske and Ganassi last week and they got their own back this week."
DANICA PATRICK (No. 7 Boost Mobile/Motorola, finished 6th): "You definitely have to be aggressive on street courses, and today we were. We started in the back of the field and fought our way up to the front. The Boost Mobile/Motorola guys did a great job in the pits and they made the right calls with the strategy. I lost a few positions on the second to last restart, but I was trying to save fuel. But it's a great result considering the weekend we had. I have to thank all the fans for coming out today, and I can't wait to come back next year."
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 14 ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt Racing, finished seventh): "I'm happy for these guys to be able to roll the ABC car back in the truck and it's nice not having anyone run into us on the first lap. We got going good early and we had a good car and then we got caught out on a full course yellow with our pit strategy. We had been running 5th and then we were 16th but we were able to work our way back up and get a top ten, thanks in part to good clean pit stops. So it's a big positive for the ABC Supply team. Maybe we finally got that monkey got our back."
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 NYSE iShares, finished 8th): "It didn't turn out as too bad of a day for the NYSE iShares car considering it seemed to turn into an attrition race. We were able make it to the end and work our way toward the front. The #26 car was quick on the black tires so the longer stint we ran on reds cost us some time and I think we lost a little ground there. The boys did a great job in the pits all day and we're nearing the top-five in points. Overall I'm happy with the top-ten finish today."
RAPHAEL MATOS (No. 2 US Marines Luczo Dragon Racing, finished 10th): This was the most difficult race of the season, it was very challenging. There were a lot of drivers taking a lot of risks and that's why so many guys didn't finish. It was good for us to get another top 10 and pick up some points. The Marines Luczo Dragon team did a really good job all weekend. We just keep progressing as a team and I keep getting more and more experience. It was important for us to finish for our confidence and for the sponsors, but we're a little disappointed because we had a much better car than 10th place."
The 2009 IndyCar Series season continues July 26 with the Rexall Edmonton Indy at Edmonton City Centre Airport. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 5p.m. (EDT) by VERSUS. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network, XM channel 145 and Sirius channel 211. The radio broadcast also will be carried on www.indycar.com. The 2009 Firestone Indy Lights season continues with the Firestone Indy Lights Grand Prix of Edmonton on July 25 at Watkins Glen International. The race will be telecast at 4 p.m. (EDT) on July 27 by VERSUS.