Drama Fuels Franchitti Title

JOLIET, Ill. - Fuel prices are skyrocketing around the country, but less than a gallon cost Scott Dixon a million dollars on Sunday.

Dixon ran out of fuel in the final turn opening the door for Dario Franchitti to win Sunday's Peak Antifreeze 300 at Chicagoland Speedway and the 2007 Indy Racing League title.

"I was drafting (Dixon) and going for the slingshot, and just as I pulled out I saw him slow down," said Franchitti. "I almost hit the back of him. We shot up the track and that was it."

Franchitti came into Sunday's season finale up by only three points on Dixon and wound up winning his first career series championship by 12 points with his win on Sunday.

Franchitti became the third driver in a row to win both the Indianapolis 500 and the series title in the same year with Dan Wheldon turning the trick in 2005 and Sam Hornish Jr. last season.

"It's been a crazy season," said Franchitti. "There were times when we thought we were looking really good and times when things just wouldn't go right. But we got some of our mojo back from the middle of the season, so I couldn't be happier."

He will also become the third IndyCar champion to leave the series to join NASCAR when the announcement is finally made later this year after sources confirmed he is leaving Andretti Green Racing for Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team.

Franchitti declined to comment on the report, saying he "just wants to celebrate this championship and not worry about next year."

"I am shocked, knowing Dario and his style I'm surprised," Danica Patrick said. "Good luck to him. He's a great driver and great drivers do great so he'll do fine. He's been doing pretty good all season and I don't think a little pressure hurt anybody."

Dixon was able to hang on for the second spot with Sam Hornish, Jr., Helio Castroneves and Scott Sharp rounding out the top five.

The race was relatively caution-free with Marco Andretti involved in one of the few incidents when he spun and hit the wall in turn four on lap 34.

Andretti was transferred to a local medical center where he was examined by CAT Scan and found to have no significant injury.

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Auto Club 500

@ Auto Club Speedway
Saturday, October 19, 2013
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