IndyCar » 12 July 2009
Franchitti wins Toronto Indycars.
"We came in [to the pits] just as it went yellow, and that helped me get close to the front. I passed a couple cars and then, on the restarts, I was able to take off because the Target car was fast."
The unexpected pretenders for victory all saw their races unravel in the latter stages, with Tracy crashing out after a tangle with Castroneves while running second and third to Franchitti. The Canadian was still on fiery form - having escaped an energetic battle with rookie Mike Conway when the Briton tagged the wall on lap 33 - and lined up his adversary entering turn three on lap 66. Although Castroneves appeared to give the KVRT car room, they touched at the apex and then again, more terminally for Tracy, as Castroneves jolted right and pinned him against the wall. Both drivers were out, but remarkably sanguine about the incident.
Tagliani and Scheckter both saw hopes of a strong finish evaporate in the same incident, although they were running deeper in the pack at the time the Canadian mistook the size of a gap inside his rival as both lined up an ailing Moraes. The Conquest car succeeded only in pushing Scheckter into the second KVRT machine, bringing all three to a halt, again in turn three. Moraes was the first to recover, with Tagliani also able to get away, but Scheckter was out - and the South African showed his obvious displeasure by hurling his gloves at Tagliani as the Canadian filed through behind the safety car next time around.
By that point, Briscoe was back into second spot, initially ahead of Justin Wilson before the Briton's Dale Coyne car began to fade. Having followed a similar strategy to his Penske team-mate, Power was the first to slide by the Briton, putting the yellow Penske Truck Rental liveried #12 back into the top three, while Dixon also ensured that he limited the damage points-wise by picking Wilson off five laps from home.
"That's how it goes some days," the Watkins Glen winner admitted, "We just had to survive and it was pretty tough out there. I think it got us some good points, but that's racing, you just have to keep working at it and sometimes things go your way and sometimes they don't.
"I think Will got a run on me to get position, but then he was just plain blocking. Since the last restart, he slowed right down and let the leaders pull away - then he did his own restart. It's just how it goes. We beat up on Penske and Ganassi last week and they got their own back this week."
The Penske pair both paid tribute to their team for turning their fortunes around after the first lap tyre troubles, although Power admitted that a minor miscalculation meant that he was running the less favourable tyres on the run to the chequer.
"We were almost a lap down, and I didn't realise that I hadn't done my two laps on the reds, so we had to pit again and put the reds on 'til the end," he confirmed, "It was a good result though, and I had so much fun. I never passed so many cars in a race before."
Danica Patrick advanced twelve positions to finish sixth, while Ryan Hunter-Reay finally shook the monkey from the back of his relationship with AJ Foyt Racing by claiming seventh. Marco Andretti - like Patrick up from the rear of the grid - Tagliani and Raphael Matos rounded out the top ten, with only Moraes, Hideki Mutoh, EJ Viso, Wheldon and Carpenter also running at the finish.
"I'm happy for these guys to be able to roll the ABC car back into the truck - it's nice not having anyone run into us on the first lap," RH-R smiled, "We got going good early and we had a good car - but then we got caught out on a full course yellow with our pit strategy. We had been running fifth and then we were 16th, but we were able to work our way back up and get a top ten, thanks in part to good clean pit-stops. It's a big positive for the ABC Supply team - and maybe we finally got that monkey off our back."
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