Franchitti Finishes 11th and 32nd in PIR Double AVONDALE, Ariz. (April 14, 2008)-Dario Franchitti began his double duty weekend at Phoenix International Raceway Friday night with an 11th-place finish in his Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates...
Franchitti Finishes 11th and 32nd in PIR Double
AVONDALE, Ariz. (April 14, 2008)-Dario Franchitti began his double duty weekend at Phoenix International Raceway Friday night with an 11th-place finish in his Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) No. 40 Fastenal Dodge, and followed that up with a 32nd-place result in Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race under the lights on the 1-mile oval.
The weekend started with Franchitti running atop the speed chart for most of the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) practice sessions, which translated into success in his NSCS car (No. 40 Wrigley's Juicy Fruit Dodge) as the team successfully qualified in on time for the 312-lap event with a 21st place starting spot -- a career best for the Scot.
Franchitti qualified 13th for Friday night's NNS race, and the Fastenal team ran a clean race to finish 11th by completing all 200 laps to bring home Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors.
The Wrigley's Juicy Fruit team lined up 21st for Saturday night's NSCS race, and Franchitti ran competitive laps times throughout the event, but got caught out under an unfortunately timed yellow and brought his CGRFS machine home in 32nd.
Franchitti moved up one position in the NNS driver standings to 16th, while the No. 40 NSCS team remains 39th in NSCS owner points, closing the gap from the top-35 by 9 points (-49 to -40).
Fracnchitti: "Sometimes you get lucky and sometimes you're unlucky, and tonight we were unlucky. We came to pit road about three laps before that yellow came out and that put us an extra lap down. So that was that. We were two laps down instead of being one. We were running top-15 times pretty much all night but we just got put those two laps down and that was it. I'm really proud of the team; really, really proud of the team and the job they've done this week coming back, and the way they worked qualifying. Three cars on the team came together and really helped us out and that's what we need. We keep doing this and we'll be going forward. We're closer to the top-35 than we were going in. We can qualify Talladega and we'll just keep on pushing. These guys did a good job adjusting on it. The track was changing and we were keeping up with it. As I say I just did what I could. It's frustrating with that yellow coming out but there's definitely been times in my career that I've had yellows come out at the right time so we'll just go to Talladega. We'll do some testing between now and then and it's a really good team effort this week."