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Dario's 'blocking' criticism angers Helio

Dario Franchitti was certainly fired up after his victory in the Milwaukee 225 on Sunday, and the target of his anger and frustration was Penske's Helio Castroneves.
Dario Franchitti emerged victorious from a hard, tough race at the Milwaukee Mile, but his first thought wasn't about the win - but about how Helio Castroneves had been driving.

"It was Helio's usual blocking crap and I don't know what it's going to take to understand blocking is not part of what we do in the IndyCar Series," said Dario in the immediate post-race interview. "He was blocking inside and outside, and it's no wonder he got a flat tyre considering some of the parts of the track he was using."

It's unusually strong criticism from Franchitti, who is usually one of the most polished and media-savvy of the current generation of IndyCar drivers. Unsurprisingly, Castroneves was not happy with the remarks.

“I'm very sorry he that he feels that way,” said Helio on Tuesday. “I definitely want to talk to him. I want to find out what happened; why he would have such a harsh comment about me.”

He was surprised that Franchitti's first thought after the race should be to make the attack on him. "He's our champion; he should be just enjoying his victory and act like a champion,” Castroneves said. “He won the race; there were other cars between me and him ... Now I just want to move on to Iowa this week and try to win that race.”

Franchitti did have much more positive words to say about Tony Kanaan, who provided the strongest challenge of anyone during the race.

"The first part of the race I thought I had a bit of an advantage on everybody," said Franchitti. "Then Tony came marching along and he looked really, really strong, and he gave me a hard time as usual. Racing with Tony is a pleasure. An absolute pleasure. Just inches apart, giving each other room and respect.

"It was fun to race with Tony," Franchitti continued. "He was very aggressive, but in the best possible sense," pointedly drawing parallels with Kanaan's Brazilian compatriot Castroneves. "I think we have a respect for each other ... We race each other bloody hard, but there's always that respect there, too." Franchitti and Kanaan were team mates back at Andretti-Green Racing in 2005 along with Bryan Herta and Dan Wheldon, and the group remains firm friends dubbed "the Four Musketeers".

Castroneves was eventually eliminated from the lead by a left rear puncture, while Kanaan exited the race on lap 195 when he hit the wall.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Dario Franchitti ready for work on Pole Day for the 2011 Indy 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 21. [Picture credit: Mike Harding for IndyCar Media]
Ganassi team mates Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti watch Danica Patrick practice from the pit wall at the Milwaukee Mile - June 2011. [Picture credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Dario Franchitti and Will Power - the two main IndyCar title rivals - each one one of the two Firestone Twin 275 double header racers at Texas Motor Speedway in June 2011. [Picture credit: Michael Levitt - LAT for IndyCar Media]
Helio Castroneves faces the media after Friday Practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 20. [Picture credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Helio Castroneves and Dario Franchitti battle for the lead of the Milwaukee 225. Castroneves would eventually suffer a puncture on the left rear tyre and have to pit. [Picture credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Will Power Texas
Detroit IndyCar Helio Castroneves
Helio Castroneves 2017 Indy 500 practice
Will Power Indy 500 practice
Will Power - Team Penske
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]
Will Power - Penske  [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Jones]
Will Power - Penske   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Jones]
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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Dan Owen - Unregistered

June 24, 2011 2:01 AM

I'm starting to get pretty tired of hearing Franchitti whinge. He's with a team that most would consider the benchmark in Indycar, he's the defending champ, has a couple of Borg Warner trophys on the shelf at home and still manages to find something to complain about. Can see why he didn't last too long in NASCAR with his 'I am king' attitude.

Bobby Jones - Unregistered

June 23, 2011 11:43 PM

Dario's whining and complaining is not appreciated by many fans of the sport as recent forums have shown. It appears that Mr. Judd, now with Danica leaving for NASCAR, wants to be like Danica and become Mr. Patrick as well. His "I'm the King of IndyCar" attitude is wearing thin and his "15 Minutes" may soon be up if he continues. For me, I'll just mute the TV when he opens his mouth.

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