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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

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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]
Chevrolet sweeps the podium with winner Mike Conway (center), driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrating his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. Tony Kanaan (left), driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet celebrates his second-place finish. Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet celebrates his third-place finish. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, Tony Kanaan and Will Power celebrate on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway, Tony Kanaan and Will Power pose for a selfie on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan and Will Power pose for a selfie on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais, driver of the #11 Hydroxycut KVC Racing Technology Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the first of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud enters Turn 4 during practice for the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud in action (Photo by: Eric Anderson for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud in action (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to a fourteenth-place finish Saturday, July 13, 2014 at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. Power lost the championship points lead to teammate Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, who finished eighth. (Photo by Dan Streck/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races teammate Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 TNT Energy Drink Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6, Saturday, July 12, 2014 at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. Dixon won the pole and finished in fourth-place. Kanaan led for most of the race and finished third. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan lead the pack at the start of the Iowa Corn Indy 300 (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe (left), driver of the #8 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, talks with teammate Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 TNT Energy Drink Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6, during qualifying Friday, July 11, 2014 for Saturday`s race at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. Briscoe qualified fourth, Kanaan second and teammate Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6 won the pole. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6 celebrates winning the pole Friday, July 11, 2014 for Saturday`s race at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. Dixon will start in the front row with teammate Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 TNT Energy Drink Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6, who qualified second. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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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...so 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.



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