Franchitti prevails in wild IndyCar race at Toronto
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Dario Franchitti survived a crash-filled race, had a penalty against him reversed and then held off his Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, Scott Dixon, in the closing laps to win Sunday's Honda Indy Toronto.
The 85-lap race on the 1.755-mile temporary street course in Toronto's Exhibition Place featured eight cautions, including several multi-car crashes and one for an incident involving championship contenders Franchitti and Will Power from Team Penske.
Franchitti made contact with Power and spun him around on lap 57. Race officials originally assessed a drive-through penalty for Franchitti, but his team successfully appealed the penalty during the caution.
"It doesn't surprise me that he didn't get a penalty, because he never gets penalized," a frustrated Power said. "I'm really disappointed. I always race Dario clean, and he always races me dirty. He did the same thing in St. Petersburg [March 27 season-opener], turning me into the wall. I didn't say anything. And he did it again today."
Soon after, Franchitti grabbed the lead from his other teammate, Graham Rahal, and then outran Dixon at the finish by just under one second for his fourth win of the season and the 30th of his IndyCar career. Franchitti also won in Toronto in 1999 (CART-sanctioned race) and 2009 (inaugural IndyCar event here).
"It was crazy, absolutely crazy," Franchitti said. "Obviously, there was contact with Will. If he's [ticked] off, he's quite right to be [ticked] off."
Franchitti later noted that he and Power were equally to blame for the incident.
Race official Al Unser Jr. explained IndyCar's decision not to assess a penalty for the incident while he was interviewed during Versus' television coverage of the event.
"Between Franchitti and Power, there was never a penalized issue to either driver," Unser said. "Franchitti was underneath Will, and there was no penalty assessed to him based on what we saw."
Ten laps after his encounter with Franchitti, Power was also turned around by Canadian Alex Tagliani. The Australian slammed into the barrier, and his race came to an end early with a 24th-place finish in the 26-car field.
"Tag hit me; it's pretty typical for him," Power said.
It's the second straight race Power has failed to finish. He crashed hard and suffered a minor concussion two weeks ago at Iowa Speedway.
Franchitti now holds a comfortable 55-point lead over Power, while Dixon is 83 points behind the leader after his second-place run.
"It was my best result here," Dixon said. "I'm a little disappointed. I thought we had the car to beat, but we came up second."
Ryan Hunter-Reay finished third, while Marco Andretti, who snapped his lengthy winless streak in the series at Iowa, and Vitor Meira rounded out the top- five.
Danica Patrick was involved in two accidents. Takuma Sato got into the back of Patrick and turned her around in turn three on lap nine. She was also caught up in a three-car wreck that occurred in the same area of her previous incident with less than 15 laps to go.
"It piles up so bad at the hairpin there, and everybody is just running the inside," Patrick said. "Unfortunately, the line is so much further to the inside with the bumps nowadays that it's causing pileups."
Patrick received a new front wing that was originally intended as an alternate wing for teammate Andretti. She continued on after repairs from her second crash and finished six laps behind in 19th.
07/10 18:58:05 ET