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Franchitti predicts another tight fight

Dario Franchitti predicts another tough season as he looks to successfully the IndyCar Series title
The fight for the 2009 IndyCar Series title saw the points lead change hands no fewer than 15 times – with eventual champion Dario Franchitti admitting it will be a tight fight again in 2010.

The Scot eventually beat Ganassi team-mate Scott Dixon and Penske's Ryan Briscoe to the crown in the final round of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway, with Franchitti lifting the title by just eleven points.

His second series championship in three years was forged by five victories, eight other top-five finishes that piled up points and 11 bonus points from pole starts and race laps led.

"I didn't think I'd win five races and a championship in my first year back (after the shortened by economics foray into stock cars)," Franchitti said. "Scott is a better driver than he was in '07 and Ryan came in every single week, as well as other people who made appearances and won races. It just seemed that Scott and Ryan every week were tough competition."

Franchitti expects Dixon to again contend for the title during the 17-race schedule along with the Team Penske triumvirate of Briscoe, Helio Castroneves and Will Power, and Tony Kanaan of Andretti Autosport. He also expects a couple of dark horses to emerge, such as Justin Wilson of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and former Formula One driver Takuma Sato.

"(At dinner recently with team members) I said this year is going to be harder than last year and we all kind of nodded," Franchitti said. "We know the competition is going to be tougher. There will be the usual suspects that were in the title fight last year and I think you'll add a couple more. We'll have to work harder if we want to come home with another championship.

"To even challenge for another championship we'll have to work even harder. If we do our best, we'll see if we can repeat. Right now, we're just going to with the same attitude as last year, which was let's do our best and hopefully that will put us in contention."



Related Pictures

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Dario Franchitti [Pic credit: IndyCar Media]
Johnny Rutherford speaks with official pace car driver Dario Franchitti (Photo by: Dana Garrett for IndyCar Media)
Chip Ganassi (Photo by: Eric Anderson for IndyCar Media)
Chip Ganassi speaks with Sage Karam (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan on Monday at practice for the Indianapolis 500. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe, driver of the #8 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to a sixth-place finish Saturday, May 10, 2014 during the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt for Chevy Racing)
Chevrolet Racing introduces the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Indianapolis 500 pace car Tuesday, March 25, 2014. Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti will drive the Camaro Z/28 to pace the 98th running of the race on May 25. It’s the eighth time a Camaro has been the pace car, starting in 1967 – and the 25th time a Chevrolet has paced the race. The 2014 Camaro Z/28 is the most track-capable model in its history, building on the legacy of the original SCCA Trans Am-series contender introduced in 1967. (Photo Courtesy of IMS Photography for Chevy Racing)
Chevrolet Racing introduces the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Indianapolis 500 pace car Tuesday, March 25, 2014. Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti will drive the Camaro Z/28 to pace the 98th running of the race on May 25. It’s the eighth time a Camaro has been the pace car, starting in 1967 – and the 25th time a Chevrolet has paced the race. The 2014 Camaro Z/28 is the most track-capable model in its history, building on the legacy of the original SCCA Trans Am-series contender introduced in 1967. (Photo Courtesy of IMS Photography for Chevy Racing)
Chevrolet Racing announces Tuesday, March 25, 2014 that three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti will drive a 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 to pace the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 25. It’s the eighth time a Camaro has been the pace car, starting in 1967 – and the 25th time a Chevrolet has paced the race. The 2014 Camaro Z/28 is the most track-capable model in its history, building on the legacy of the original SCCA Trans Am-series contender introduced in 1967. (Photo Courtesy of IMS Photography for Chevy Racing)
Chevrolet Racing announces Tuesday, March 25, 2014 that three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti will drive a 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 to pace the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 25. It’s the eighth time a Camaro has been the pace car, starting in 1967 – and the 25th time a Chevrolet has paced the race. The 2014 Camaro Z/28 is the most track-capable model in its history, building on the legacy of the original SCCA Trans Am-series contender introduced in 1967. (Photo Courtesy of IMS Photography for Chevy Racing)
Dario Franchitti reviews data in the Target Chip Ganassi pit stand at the 2014 Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park on Tuesday March 18. (Photo Credit: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Dario Franchitti during the press conference at the Target Chip Ganassi Racing shop. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Dario Franchitti jokes with Tony Kanaan during his press conference at the Target Chip Ganassi Racing offices. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Dario Franchitti poses with the Borg-Warner Trophy and the Astor Cup following his retirement press conference at the Target Chip Ganassi Racing offices. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Dario Franchitti arrives for his retirement press conference at the Target Chip Ganassi Racing offices. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe (second left) is announced as the fourth driver for Chip Ganassi Racing in 2014 where he will join (L-R) Charlie Kimball, Tony Kanaan and Scott Dixon. Kanaan will drive the #10 previously piloted by Dario Franchitti. Briscoe will drive the new #8 car in a multi-year contract. (Photo Credit: Lynne Huntting, presssnoop.com)
Tony Kanaan gets acclimated to his new car as mechanic Steve Namisnak makes adjustments to a mirror prior to a test at Sebring International Raceway on December 4, 2013. (Photo Credit: Dave Lewandowski for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan, left, and Charlie Kimball, center, compare notes during some downtime at a Chip Ganassi Racing test day at Sebring International Raceway on December 4, 2013. (Photo Credit: Dave Lewandowski for IndyCar Media)

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