Franchitti Wins Wild Toronto Race
July 10, 2011 | 4:59 P.M. EST
The win was Franchitti's third on the streets of Toronto and 30th of his career. (Photo: Getty Images)
Dario Franchitti survived a caution filled Honda Indy Toronto to record his fourth win of the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series season.
In a race that saw numerous incidents, including contact between Franchitti and Will Power on lap 56, the driver of the No. 10 Target car was able to hold off his teammate Scott Dixon to extend his series points lead.
"We had that incident with Will," Franchitti said. "He outbraked himself to outbrake me and opened up the door, I went down the inside, I held the wall and Will came down. I put my nose in there, I was trying to get my nose out, but ultimately he closed the door and paid the price."
The win was Franchitti's third on the streets of Toronto and 30th of his career, breaking a tie with Rick Mears on the all-time win list.
"I was pretty happy just be in the company of Rick and J.R., and to get my 30th win today means a lot, especially here in Toronto, I got my first pole here in 1997. I love racing in Canada.
Bitten by strategy, Dixon was 0.7345 of a second behind in second, tying his season best from Barber and Texas. It also marked his fourth podium finish in the last five races.
"For us we knew what the window was, we discussed it in the morning, we were going to pit early," Dixon said. "But obviously they split the strategy with Dario and he pitted early, and left me out to put some pressure on Will, which that didn't work, but we knew the get home number and we were set."
Ryan Hunter-Reay, who made contact with Graham Rahal while contending for position in the closing laps, scored his best finish of the season in third.
"Unfortunately, it is a bit of a product of Toronto," Hunter-Reay said about the contact. "I feel really bad for Graham on that. When Dixon went by him, Graham kind of chopped him on the straight. Dixon went by him and really ran him wide in the corner into Turn 3. There's a football field worth of real estate there and I went for it and Graham slid across so. I'm not going to blame it on him and I certainly did not deliberately do that.
"As you can see, what we had out here today was a little bit of a crash test unfortunately. I hope the fans enjoyed it and I am just really happy to get DHL, Circle K and Sun Drop on the podium. It was a hard fought day. It wasn't a straight forward podium that's for sure."
Iowa winner Marco Andretti finished fourth after starting 20th and being involved in an incident with Oriol Servia.
"I feel for everyone who got taken out," Andretti said. "Looking back, I think what happened to Oriol was my fault, but that's the position we're put in with the double-file restarts. I tried to back out but was too committed and couldn't back out enough."
Vitor Meira rounded out the top five and Sebastien Bourdais finished a season-best sixth.
Power, who was knocked out of the race by Alex Tagliani in a second incident on lap 66, finished 24th and fell to 55 points behind Franchitti in the championship standings.
The next IZOD IndyCar Series event is the Edmonton Indy on July 24 at Edmonton City Centre Airport.