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Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s Dario Franchitti used a clever bit of strategy to win the PEAK Antifreeze and Motor Oil Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday and close the gap on IndyCar Series championship points’ leader Will Power. It was his 26th Indy car racing victory in total.
Franchitti took the lead following his final pit stop on lap 173 and he then held off the Panther Racing car Dan Wheldon by 0.0423 of a second for his third win of the season. Franchitti now closes to 23 points off Power, who finished a season-low 16th after a fuelling equipment issue, which meant he had to make a late splash-and-dash.
“That last stop was the key to this race,” Franchitti said. “Chris Simmons, turns out he was the one that made the call. We had a lot of faith in the Firestone tyres. He said leave the tyres on and that got us out front. Dan Wheldon, he was just pushing me all the time, just helping me. I was giving him room at the bottom. We were working together very, very well there."
Wheldon added: "To be honest at the end, the reason I worked so hard with Dario and just tried to stay with him was because he was so clean and professional. He is a true gentleman out there and a great driver. I have to thank my team and the fans, who were definitely on their feet at the end of the night. It was an exciting race as it should be.”
Marco Andretti meanwhile led an Andretti Autosport trio in the top five with a season-best-tying third place. Ryan Hunter-Reay and Tony Kanaan followed in fourth and fifth.
"It's good to taste success again. It's been tough on the road courses lately so I'm happy to finish on the podium,” said Marco. “We lost a couple spots in pit stops, so we have to really analyze what happened. It was costly."
Further down the order Helio Castroneves took sixth for Team Penske, while Dreyer & Reinbold Racing’s Justin Wilson advanced 16 positions to finish seventh. Scott Dixon, Vitor Meira and Graham Rahal rounded out the top ten.
- Full race results
Round 15 of 17 comes in just seven days’ time, the Kentucky Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway on September 4.
Chip Ganassi Racing
|Chip Ganassi Racing|
|21 Apr||Franchitti storms to Long Beach pole|
|12 Apr||Briscoe returns to Ganassi for Indy 500|
|1 Aug '12||Pantano to sub for Kimball in Ohio|
|29 May '12||Indy 500: The list of winnings|
|IndyCar Series: Joliet 2010|
|29 Aug '10||Franchitti wins at Chicagoland Speedway|
|28 Aug '10||Latest IndyCar photos: Saturday at Chicagoland|
|27 Aug '10||Latest IndyCar photos: Friday at Chicagoland|
|26 Aug '10||Scheckter returns with Conquest|
|30 May '12||BRDC congratulates drivers on race victories|
|28 May '12||Tough day for F1 drivers in Indy 500|
|28 May '12||IndyCar video: Dramatic finish to Indy 500|
|13 Jan '12||Video of the Day: Dario Franchitti - This is my time|
|6 May||Video: Sao Paulo IndyCar highlights|
|5 May||Latest IndyCar photos: Sunday at Sao Paulo|
|5 May||Hinchcliffe claims last-lap victory in Sao Paulo|
|4 May||Hunter-Reay sets lap-record to take pole|
|More Dario Franchitti photos|