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Franchitti leads from start-to-finish to win at Infineon

Dario Franchitti became the second driver to lead an IndyCar Series race from flag to flag on Sunday and closed ground in the tight fight for the IndyCar Series championship.

Franchitti won the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma at Infineon Raceway by just 0.25 seconds. It was his fourth win of the season and the 12th of his IndyCar Series career.

“It was a good weekend for Target Chip Ganassi Racing,” said Franchitti. “The Target cars were pretty good. On the red Firestone tyres they were very good. Qualifying up front allowed us to control the pace of the race and go just as fast as we used to go and that really helped us."

Ryan Briscoe took the runners-up spot and that gave him the championship points lead – four points up Franchitti. It's the 13th time the championship points' lead has changed in the 14 races this season.

"I got into a pretty big deal with Dario's rear wing there today. That was pretty much the story of my race,” Briscoe noted. “I was pretty conservative on the fuel during that first stint and I actually thought I was going to be able to get him by going a lap further and I was surprised to see that he went a lap further than me.

“That's something we need to work on for this track, fuel mileage, but the Team Penske car was pretty good today. I think if I would have had clean air I would have been quicker than Dario. With dirty air there wasn't much I could do.

“Unfortunately, it is a really tough track to pass on if the guy in front of you doesn't make mistakes. I don't think that Dario made one today, but congratulations to him and his team. Team Penske did an awesome job and had great pit stops. We're leading the championship so hopefully we can hang onto it."

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing rookie Mike Conway rounded out the podium places - his best finish in the IndyCar Series. His previous best was sixth at Watkins Glen earlier this year

“It was good,” Conway reflected. “In the beginning, we got hit from behind and I got a puncture in my rear tyre. I thought my race was finished. I just kept pushing all the way though and just kept moving forward, and I kept setting quick times.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Indy Racing League.10-12 July 2009. Honda Indy Toronto. Toronto, Ontarios, Canada. Race winner, Dario Franchitti.
Indy Racing League.  7-9 August 2009.  Honda Indy  200. Mid Ohio Sports Car Course. Lexington, Ohio. Dario Franchitti.
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Mark _

August 24, 2009 5:31 PM

I was surprised at how well attended this event was condsidering the small crowds in recent years. We unfortunetly missed the Historic F1 support race while sitting in traffic to get in. It is nice to see Indycar starting to rebound from the split. I am affraid that if it gets much bigger they will move it back to Laguna Seca. If that does happen hopefully they can keep Infineon or alternate from year to year.

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