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Franchitti takes title after Power hits the wall

Dario Franchitti won his third Indycar championship, after a tense roller-coaster of a race that saw Will Power exit mid-race with suspension damage.
Dario Franchitti knew what he had to do to clinch the 2010 championship, and set about the job with laser-like intensity by claiming the lead from the start. He was only briefly usurped by Tony Kanaan before going on to claim the crucial two bonus points for leading the most laps on lap 118.

Despite this, Franchitti still needed to hold on tight to the lead. Will Power was running in fourth place, so even second for Dario still wouldn't be enough to overhaul Will in the points.

But the matter became moot on lap 134 when Power's car slid up and made a series of seemingly light, glancing blows against the wall in turn 4. At first it seemed that he had escaped serious damage, but then repairs for a broken wishbone saw him lose five laps; and when the car still wasn't drivable he was brought back into the garage to see if anything could be done - but it couldn't.

That meant Power would finish in 25th place, and so Franchitti still needed to finish in the top ten. Dario's strategy changed immediately, opting to fall back away from the leaders and out of danger at the back of the lead lap - a tactic that almost backfired when Milka Duno slid up into the wall right in front of him for the last caution of the evening.

That left the race win down to a group of users who took inspiration from the way Helio Castroneves had won in Kentucky - a last second fuel top-up at the penultimate yellow. Dario's team mate Scott Dixon emerged top of that group, and in the last stint of the race he was able to build a huge lead over Andretti Autosports duo Tony Kanaan and Danica Patrick who were battling fiercely side-by-side for most of the last twenty laps, Danica finally pipping Tony by a hundredth of a second at the line in her best performance of the year.

But the day belonged unequivocally to Ganassi: Scott Dixon claimed the win, and Dario Franchitti claimed the 2010 Indycar title.

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Related Pictures

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3-4 September, 2010, Sparta, Kentucky USA #10 Dixie Target Chip Ganassi Racing`s Dario Franchitti.
Scott Dixon sprays the champagne in Victory Circle following his win in the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon is congratulated by Dario Franchitti after winning the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon with a victory kiss from his wife, Emma, following clinching the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates his victory in the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon wins the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship, his fourth series championship of his career. (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, August 30, 2015, winning the final Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Driver`s Championship at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Chevrolet also wins its fourth consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Ernie Masche/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon (left), driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 30, 2015, after winning the final Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Driver`s Championship at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Joining him on the podium is Charlie Kimball, driver of the #83 Novolog Flexpen Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6 who finished third. Chevrolet won its fourth consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag Sunday, August 30, 2015, winning the final Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Driver`s Championship at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Chevrolet also wins its fourth consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Perry Nelson/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, August 30, 2015, winning the final Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Driver`s Championship at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Chevrolet also wins its fourth consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon - 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series champion - Target Chip Ganassi Racing (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates after winning the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and clinching the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series championship at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates after winning the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and clinching the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series championship at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates after winning the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and clinching the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series championship at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates with team mates after winning the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and clinching the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series championship at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates with Chip Ganassi after winning the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and clinching the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series championship at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates after winning the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and clinching the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series championship at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates with Chip Ganassi after winning the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and clinching the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series championship at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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