Riding the Wave to Oct. 10 Homestead-Miami Championship
Franchitt, Briscoe and Dixon are locked in one of the most hotly contested title races in IndyCar history. The points lead has changed hands 13 times in 15 races (photo courtesy: Michael Dill, South Dade News Leader)
The IndyCar Series has seen its fair share of thrilling race finishes and close Championship points battles in recent years. This year will be no different as the IndyCar Series Champion will be crowned at Homestead-Miami Speedway Oct. 10. Ryan Briscoe edged Scott Dixon by .0077 seconds at Chicagoland to take the Championship lead heading to Motegi, Japan. The 25-point differential is the fourth-closest in IndyCar Series history with two races remaining, as is the 33 points between first-place Briscoe and third-place Dixon.
In one of the most contested title races in history, there have been 13 different points leaders in 15 races. With just one race to go before the Oct. 10 Championship finale at Homestead-Miami, the three Championship contenders made a brief pit stop in South Florida for an IndyCar Championship Contenders Media Event. Briscoe, Dario Franchitti, Dixon and the 2009 IndyCar Series Championship Trophy arrived at Finnegan’s River via the “Thriller Miami” high-speed speedboat for a photo opportunity and one-on-one interviews.
The boat ride provided a leisurely tour of downtown Miami, but the Championship was on the mind of each Championship contender. Current points leader Briscoe made his IndyCar Series debut at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2005.
“For the Miami fans they are going to have more excitement,” said Briscoe. “Homestead provides great side-by-side action and now with the aerodynamic changes and push to pass implementation you can expect a close race.”
Fans can catch Scott Dixon, Ryan Briscoe and Dario Franchitti and all of IndyCar’s stars on track at Homestead-Miami Speedway Oct. 10 for the IndyCar Series-crowning Firestone 300. As a rookie, Dixon won his first IndyCar Series race en route to winning his first Championship in 2003. In 2008, the Target Chip Ganassi driver outlasted Coral Gables resident Helio Castroneves by 17 points to claim the Championship. Dixon drew a correlation between his victories at Homestead-Miami and his IndyCar Championships.
“Each time I've won at Homestead I have won a championship,” said Dixon. “It is kind of the strange thing about Homestead; everyone who has won there recently has gone on to win the championship that year for the past six or seven years. I think it is going to be the same this year, whoever wins the race will win the championship. It's going to be real exciting.”
2007 IndyCar Champion Franchitti has returned to the series as a teammate to Dixon. Driving for Andretti Green Racing, Franchitti passed Dixon in Turn 4 on the last lap at Chicago to claim the race and the Championship by 13 points. Now he and his Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate will try to overhaul Briscoe in the Championship points standings.
“Homestead is a momentum track,” said Franchitti. “A lot of it depends on which corner your car is handling better. In an IndyCar, if the car is right you can run wide open.”
IndyCar’s Championship has come down to the final lap of the final race each of the last three seasons. Look for the 18-to-20 degree variable banking at Homestead-Miami Speedway to play a factor in the Championship competition—especially with recent history of last-lap Championship finishes. History indicates race fans can expect very compelling action Oct. 10 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.