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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.
Alexander Rossi - Andretti Autosport   [pic credit: Indycar Media/Joe Skibinski]
Will Power - Team Penske
Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) on his way to victory at Watkins Glen   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]
Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) on his way to pole at Watkins Glen   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]
Scott Dixon leads the Indycar field   [pic credit: Indycar media/Bret Kelley]
Will Power - Team Penske   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Jones]
Will Power - Team Penske   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Jones]
Will Power - Team Penske   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]
Scott Dixon - Target Chip Ganassi Racing   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/JOE SKIBINSKI]
Will Power - Penske  [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Jones]
Will Power - Penske   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Jones]
Carlos Munoz celebrates his first IndyCar pole at Texas Motor Speedway
Alexander Rossi - Andretti Autosport
Alexander Rossi - Andretti Autosport [credit: Walter Kuhn]
Marco Andretti - Andretti Autosport [credit: Chris Owens]
Will Power - Team Penske   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Jones]
Helio Castroneves (Team Penske) celebrates pole at Long Beach   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Jones]

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