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Franchitti wins in Iowa


Dario Franchitti went some way to restoring the reputation of Chip Ganassi's alternate livery cars by winning the Iowa Corn Indy 250 at the wheel of the TomTom-backed Dallara.

The Scot is now two-for-two at Iowa Speedway - having won the inaugural race there in 2007 and finding his way back to victory lane by winning Sunday's race by 5.0132secs over Ryan Briscoe - and gave the credit to his crew, which turned in a quick pit-stop on lap 196 of 250 as the leaders cycled through green flag stops.

Franchitti trailed Briscoe by less than a second as the stops began and led by more than a second when they were completed. As the drivers worked through lapped traffic over the final 50 laps, Franchitti was able to build his lead to a comfortable margin.

"I like driving here," the Scot admitted, after making up for his failure to win in Energizer colours in Texas, "We tested at Iowa last Wednesday, and the Target guys did a really, really good job coming up with a set-up - and they were awesome in the pits. I just went out, did my job and hung on, made some good moves in traffic and here we are. More than anywhere, today is a team win because those pit-stops moved us up in track position."

The 2007 series champion's second victory of the season moved him to within three points of Briscoe, who remains the IndyCar Series points leader but, for the third consecutive race, the Australian had to content himself with lead the most laps after a potential victory went elsewhere.

"It was a great day for Team Penske, but Dario had a bit more than us when on cold tyres," said Briscoe, who becomes the first driver to retain the points lead for more than one race at a time, "On the restarts, he was a bit better than us, but we were quickest throughout the middle of the stint, and I was hoping I would be able to catch him in traffic, but he just got a bit more luck with those guys and actually opened up the gap. It was a tough one, but a great day. The car was awesome. We had to make a bit of changes on the first pit-stop, but from there the car was great."

Andretti Green Racing's Hideki Mutoh finished third, one spot lower than his career-best finish at the same track last year, but better off than all his more vaunted team-mates, who either ended up a lap down or, in Tony Kanaan's case, in the wall.

"I was hoping to be one step up on the podium, and this is one step down, but it's still a podium finish, so I'm happy," the Japanese ace admitted, "The Formula Dream team gave me a very good car, and it seems like Iowa is my favourite track because of the results. Maybe it should be."

Panther Racing's Dan Wheldon finished fourth as the top four finishers came from different teams, the Briton fending off a determined challenge from reigning series champion Scott Dixon.




Related Pictures

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Indy Racing League. 20-21 June 2009. Iowa Corn 250.  Iowa Speedway. Newton, Iowa USA. Race winner, Dario Franchitti.
Sebastien Bourdais with his son after winning Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
The red flag is waived halting attempts to start Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto on Saturday. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway and Team Owner Ed Carpenter celebrate victory in Race 2 of the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais gets a congratulatory hug from team co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven after winning Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Owens 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, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag while racing to victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway on his way to victory in the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway jumps for joy after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway with the winner`s flag 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 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 receives the winner`s trophy 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)
Mike Conway celebrates with the Ed Carpenter Racing team after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway celebrates after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)

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