Closest margin in IndyCar history; great seats available for Oct. 10 Championship in Miami
Franchitti takes over the points lead with two races left before Miami Championship (photo courtesy: Ezra Shaw, Getty Images Sport)
The final road course race on IndyCar’s 2009 schedule provided plenty of twists and turns as drivers jockey for a position in the run for the Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway Oct. 10. Dario Franchitti won the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma at Infineon Raceway, while Ryan Briscoe's runner-up finish gave him the championship points lead by four over Franchitti. The four points separating the two ties the closest margin in IndyCar Series history with two races remaining before the series heads to Homestead-Miami for the Championship finale.
“Team Penske did an awesome job and had great pit stops,” Briscoe said post-race in Sonoma. “We're leading the championship, so hopefully we can hang onto it.”
It's the 13th time the championship points lead has changed in the 14 races this season. South Florida resident and three-time Indy 500 Champion Helio Castroneves started third but dropped out on Lap 67 due to suspension problems. Castroneves maintains his fourth-place position as is still eligible to win the IndyCar Series Championship. Danica Patrick, who qualified 11th, was part of an opening-lap accident and fell a lap down to place 16th.
Franchitti became the second driver to lead an IndyCar Series race from flag to flag and closed ground in the tight fight for the IndyCar Series Championship, to be crowned Oct. 10 in Miami. Teammate Scott Dixon—reigning Firestone 300 winner at Homestead-Miami—was the points leader coming in and finished a disappointing 13th to fall to third place in the Championship points race.
“Glad to move on and get out of here,” said Dixon, before adding in regards to the tight points race: "It can switch big time. That's what we've got to look at. We need to be consistent in the last three [races]….The Target team can win the last three races, hopefully we can do it and come home with another Championship."
The 2009 title will come down to the wire, and that wire is Homestead-Miami Speedway on Oct. 10. Just three races remain on the IndyCar Series schedule, with Chicagoland and Japan on the slate en route to Miami. In addition to the historically close margin between first and second place, just 20 points separate first and third place, making that the third-closest in league history with three races remaining (13 points in 2002, 17 in 2006).
Great seats are available for the Oct. 9-10 NextEra Energy Resources SPEEDJAMsm Championships, featuring the series-crowning Championship finales of the Firestone Indy Lights, Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car and IndyCar Series. Click here or call (866) 409-RACE, and see history this fall in Miami.