The win was Franchitti's ninth in the IndyCar Series, but surprisingly his first on any road or street course as he racked up a quarter-century of successes for Target Chip Ganassi Racing.
“I got lots of Champ Car street and road course wins, but I haven't had one in the IndyCar Series, so to finally get one feels good for all kinds of reasons," the Scot admitted, "After everything we went through last year, and then Chip coming up and saying 'hey, do you want to drive my IndyCar?', we're now back here winning together. Having finished second to his cars here twice, I said to him last night 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em', and here we are. It's a great day!”
Power again underlined the talent that could be sidelined by Castroneves' return, finishing second in the #12 Team Verizon Wireless car two days after relinquishing the seat of the #3 to the Brazilian. Power now sits second in the overall standings after two top six finishes in as many outings with Penske, having enjoyed his best IndyCar Series weekend to date.
“We had no radio and no telemetry, so I was doing it off the steering wheel and off the pit board," the Australian revealed later, "I'm very happy, and second is very good. I feel happy for all the guys as they put a lot of effort in. I really want to thank Roger Penske and Tim Cindric for bringing this Verizon Wireless car here for me. I really appreciate it. They've given me a fantastic ride, and I can't thank them enough.”
Kanaan returned to the podium as he celebrated his 100th race with third place in a strong Andretti Green showing. The Brazilian had started back in eleventh spot, but came through to claim a series record 68th top five finish in the reliveried Dr Pepper machine..
“We work better under pressure, I guess," he smiled, "It's a good day for Andretti Green Racing, and a great job for the 7-Eleven team. That's how we count points and move forward. When we have a car to win, we win, and, when we don't, we finish on the podium.”
Patrick came from even further back, rising from a disappointing 22nd on the grid as she and Michael Andretti plotted a fuel saving strategy that fell beautifully in line with the day's cautions. The Motorola machine gained 18 places in the course of 85 laps - the most of any car - and Patrick ran second on merit for a while.
“It was a good job on the strategy and getting that right," she acknowledged, "We pitted at the right times - I believe they just said Dario and I were on that strategy - and, if the yellows would have fallen just right, we'd have had the lead. There was just no passing out there but, unfortunately, I made a little mistake and Will got by and then Tony got by me because of the blend line - there's no way he would have beat me out, because I passed him still on the track, but it's the way that the blend line works..."
Wheldon, too, benefited from some good strategic thinking from the Panther Racing team, climbing nine places from 14th after qualifying despite being caught up in a multi-car shunt at the hairpin in the first half of the race.
“So far, the team has done a fantastic job calling the races, and it was certainly a different race as there wasn't a lot of passing out there," the Briton commented, "Once I got off the black tyres - which I really struggled with - it really came alive, and the track rubbering in helped us as well. But team did a really good job - I thought we were pretty competitive all weekend. It was important for us to score points going into Kansas, because that's a race I'm very confident about..."