Dario Franchitti Has Sights on an IndyCar Series Championship, Rough Day for Coral Gables Driver Castroneves
Dario Franchitti overcame a rough early pit stop to win in Toronto and regain the IndyCar Series Championship points standings lead. Franchitti, the pole-sitter, led the early part of the race but fell into the middle of the pack after his pit crew had trouble with his left rear tire during a stop on Lap 26.
The Championship leader persevered and passed Helio Castroneves on Lap 65 to hold on for his second career victory in Toronto. Coral Gables resident Helio Castroneves left the temporary street course as the villain after crashing into Toronto's Paul Tracy. The crash knocked both men out of the race.
"I guess we timed it right with strategy," Franchitti said in Victory Lane. “I passed a couple cars and then on the restarts; I was able to take off. The Target car was fast on the restarts and we were really able to take off.”
Tracy tried to past Castroneves on Lap 66, and the South Florida driver squeezed Tracy against the wall, which obliterated the right side of Tracy’s KV Racing Technology Dallara.
But Tracy, who was cheered by the Canadian fans, would not put the blame on his rival.
"We were racing really hard. I had some room. We both hooked wheels," Tracy said in a post-race interview. "I'm not going to say he did it on purpose. It was a racing accident."
Castroneves’ Team Penske teammate Ryan Briscoe finished second, with Will Power rounding out the top three.
Franchitti captured his second IndyCar Series race of the season and reclaimed the IndyCar Series lead from his Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Scott Dixon.
The victory put Franchitti two points ahead of the defending IndyCar Series champion Dixon in the Championship chase with Briscoe 13 points back and Indianapolis 500 winner and Coral Gables resident Helio Castroneves 78 points off the pace in fourth.