IndyCar »

Power and Franchitti clash again at Mid-Ohio

Hopes that hostilities between Dario Franchitti and Will Power had ceased after their on-track clash at Toronto seemed dashed as the two exchanged contact and words at Mid-Ohio.
After their well-publicised clash on-track at Toronto and Will Power's furious criticism of the "dirty" Dario Franchitti afterwards, it looked like the reconciliation process had begun during a controversy-free outing at Edmonton.

However, some people wondered what would have happened at Edmonton if Power had found himself immediately behind Franchitti at any point in the race and been tempted to administer a little payback. Come the start of the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and we were about to find out, as Power started alongside Franchitti on the second row of the grid. Would everyone play nice, or would there be contact?

The in-car TV footage soon had the answer as the cars went through turn 5 for the first time: Power's #12 made hefty contact with the left rear wheel of the Ganassi #10 and for a second it looked as though it might be enough to send Franchitti spinning, but the Scot managed to hold it together.

"He hit me twice on the first lap," Franchitti told TV reporters after the race. "Pretty hard actually, going into turn 5. He didn't get me all the way around but he had a good try at it."

"I was just trying to get past him at the start," insisted Power. "He went around the outside and I think I hit his back wheel," he said, insisting that it was "sort of similar to Toronto" - implying that if Franchitti got away with that one, then Power was equally entitled to this move as well.

However, all it did in many observers' minds was to suggest that Power knew exactly what he was doing this week and was intentionally trying to spin Franchitti in payback for the harm that was done to him in Canada.

The two continued to run together for much of the first part of the race, but there were no further incidents between them as the race settled down into a more processional affair, and they were broken up by the first round of pit stops that followed Sebastian Saavedra's accident on lap 22.

In the end, Franchitti would come in second to his Ganassi team mate Scott Dixon - but crucially, unfortunate timing for his second pit stop left Will Power well down the field after a second caution for a beached Graham Rahal came at just the wrong moment for the Penske team. He finished in 14th place at the chequered flag, which could make a crucial difference in the points battle for the 2011 IZOD IndyCar championship title fight.

"Good points day for us, despite Will's best efforts at the start there to spin me around," Dario said pointedly immediately after getting out of the car. However, he was more conciliatory at the later post-race winners' press conference.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Will Power in the #12 at Edmonton. [Photo credit: Daniel Incandela for IndyCar Media]
Dario Franchitti congratulates his Ganassi team mate Scott Dixon on his first victory of 2011, at the Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. August 2011. [Photo credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Scott Dixon celebrates with Dario Franchitti and Ryan Hunter-Reay on the podium  after winning the Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. August 2011. [Photo credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Scott Dixon leads Ryan Briscoe on lap 1 of the Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. August 2011. [Photo credit: Dan Helrigel for IndyCar Media]
Dario Franchitti pulls away to a safe distance ahead of Will Power during the early laps of the Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. August 2011. [Photo credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Scott Dixon - Chip Ganassi Indy Car [credit: IndyCar TV Twitter]
Will Power Texas
Scott Dixon Indy 500
Scott Dixon [credit: IndyCar Series]
Scott Dixon Indy 500 qualifying
Will Power Indy 500 practice
Simon Pagenaud Phoenix IndyCar
Stefan Wilson, 2016 Indy 500
Simon Pagenaud (Team Penske) celebrates winning the 2016 IndyCar title with victory at Sonoma   [pic credit: Chris Owens]
Simon Pagenaud - Team Penske   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens]
Will Power - Team Penske
Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) on his way to victory at Watkins Glen   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

Mayziedays - Unregistered

August 08, 2011 4:01 PM

Will needs to get over whatever "favoritism" he thinks Dario is getting. It is really starting to effect his driving and mental state on the track. Dario has been involved in open-wheel racing for a long time and has a great respect for it is natural that he has a close relationship with Indycar officials and track owners. Dario is constantly talking to Randy about improvements to the series because he wants to see it thrive. I also recall that Dario was the Driver Safety Rep. So pointing out potential problems and getting them fixed is his responsibility. There is nothing stopping Will from getting involved off the track. I am sure Simon Pagenaud is happy Dario got the Turn 1 issue fixed.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.