Franchitti Gives Ganassi Double

Dario Franchitti scored his second career Indianapolis 500 victory on Sunday to make Chip Ganassi the only team owner to win The Daytona 500 and Indy 500 in the same year.

Franchitti dominated the race but was forced into fuel conservation mode in the closing laps. After taking the white flag the race was officially over when Ryan Hunter-Reay and Mike Conway crashed to bring out the caution.

The violent crash saw Conway's car fly into the catchfence and disintegrate before finally coming to rest. Conway sat in what was left of the mangled machine and was taken to Methodist Hospital for treatment of what was determined to be non-life threatening injuries.

Franchitti coasted across the finish line to score the victory and give Ganassi the Borg Warner trophy to go along with the Harley J. Earl trophy won by Jamie McMurray in February's Daytona 500.

"To come back from a year away and win the championship and then win the Indy 500 it just means so much,” said Franchitti, who won a rain-shortened race in 2007.

It was the fourth Indy 500 win for Ganassi who also went to victory lane in the past with dominant drivers - Emerson Fittipaldi in 1999 (158 laps led), Juan Pablo Montoya (167) and Scott Dixon (115).

Franchitti led 155 of the 200 laps, inheriting the point for the final time on Lap 192 when pole sitter Helio Castroneves came into the pits for a splash of fuel.

Dan Wheldon finished second for the second consecutive year in the Panther Racing entry. Marco Andretti, Alex Lloyd and Scott Dixon rounded out the top five.

Danica Patrick started 23rd and notched a sixth-place finish.

"I’m very happy with the result, and the reasons we got it were that our pit stops rocked and we had a perfect strategy," said Patrick. "We did struggle a little in the early goings. We almost went a lap down. But we were able to get the car into the position it should have been in."

Justin Wilson, Will Power, Helio Castroneves and Alex Tagliani completed the first ten finishers.

Castroneves started from the pole and was trying to become a four-time Indy 500 winner. But problems on pit road including stalling his car exiting a late race stop ended his chance at making history.

"I’m very disappointed," Castroneves said. "I’m more disappointed with the mistake. Certainly, I am very upset for my guys. They did an incredible job the whole month long. They should walk out of here with their heads high.”

The IZOD Indy Car Series now heads to Texas Motor Speedway next Saturday night.

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Auto Club 500

@ Auto Club Speedway
Saturday, October 19, 2013
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