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How the title was won - Homestead Indy 300 race report

The restart was waved off twice, causing consternation to those worried about fuel, but a rapid return to yellow on lap 175 seemed to put the fuel issue beyond further doubt. The caution was for Milka Duno spinning and hitting the wall - and she did it right in front of Dario Franchitti, who managed to miss her wrecking but who would have had championship thoughts flashing before his eyes. He'd dropped down to ninth at the back of the lead lap as as a result, and the whole thing was becoming agonisingly close and tight as Will Power could only watch on from the sidelines, willing some mishap to overtake his rival.

The final stint of the race: Dixon took off at the front, while Helio found himself unable to match the pace of Andretti Autosports team mates Kanaan and Patrick, who staged a side-by-side battle for second place for the remainder of the laps, Patrick showing more pace and aggression in these twenty laps than she had for the entire rest of the season: she deserved the position, and nipped Kanaan for second by 0.011s. But their private battle had given Scott Dixon all the time in the world to run away and hide, and he claimed an impressive race win for Ganassi.

And Franchitti? And the title? Dario was lurking well out of harm's way, or so he hoped. He picked up an extra position when Dan Wheldon's National Guard car hit problems and fell back through the field, but he had no inclination to go near anyone who could do him harm - like any of the remaining Penske boys. But Dario's an experienced, canny old hand and he plotted his course carefully - the chequered flag came into sight, and it was over. Dario's careful magical eighth had done the trick.

With Dario Franchitti champion for the third time in four years, and Scott Dixon winning the race, Dario's smile - tinged with a fair helping of relief - couldn't have been broader or more heartfelt. And heartfelt commiserations must also to Will Power who would have been a well-liked, sentimental champion if not for that hit with the wall. So close, and yet not nearly close enough for the Aussie.

Race facts

  • Alex Lloyd won the IZOD IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year Award, the first time a Dale Coyne Racing driver has achieved that.

  • There were a record 18 lead changes - the previous record was 15 in 2004.

  • Dario Franchitti's championship was won by just 5pts over Will Power, the second-closest margin of victory in IZOD IndyCar Series history,

  • It's the fifth time in the last six years that the Indianapolis 500 winner has also won the championship: Dan Wheldon (2005), Sam Hornish Jr. (2006), Dario Franchitti (2007), Scott Dixon (2008), and Franchitti again in 2010.

  • Target Chip Ganassi Racing's victory marks the first time a team has won three straight titles in the IZOD IndyCar Series.

  • Danica Patrick extended her record of 33 consecutive races running at the finish, with her second place tying her season best set at Texas.

  • Scott Dixon earned his 24th career IZOD IndyCar Series victory, extending his series record. It was Scott Dixon's third victory of the season - he also won on the oval at Kansas and on the airport course at Edmonton.





Related Pictures

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19-20 June, 2010, Newton, iowa USA #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing`s Dario Franchitti.
Will Power celebrates with his team after winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates with his team owner Roger Penske after winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates with his wife Liz after winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Saturday, August 30, 2014 during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. This is the third consecutive win for Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Gregg Ellman/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Team Chevy sweeps the podium as Tony Kanaan (center), driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Saturday, August 30, 2014, during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Teammate Scott Dixon (left), driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6, finishes second, and Ed Carpenter, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet V6, finishes third. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Gregg EllmanLAT for Chevy Racing)
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag while racing to victory Saturday, August 30, 2014 during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. This is the third consecutive win for Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet IndyCar V6, makes a quick pit stop while racing to victory Saturday, August 30, 2014 during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. This is the third consecutive win for Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Brian Cleary/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship by posing with the Astor Challenge Cup Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship by hoisting the Astor Challenge Cup Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship by kissing the Astor Challenge Cup Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship with his wife Liz Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves and Tim Cindric come together after a valiant effort in the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)

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scampsuzi

October 03, 2010 11:16 PM

Darkyan, Wow you are one weird Aussie!! Oddly, the person that scores the most points wins the championship. Oddly, Mansell was rubbish on circuits and brilliant on the ovals and he also won the championship by scoring the most points!! I believe this is a condition of the series although I could be wrong!! One of the nicest guys in motor racing, ask anyone that knows him.

Boss B - Unregistered

October 04, 2010 3:13 AM

Dario seems a pretty likeable guy but I was really rooting for Power. I think the problem is that Roger Penske lets his guys fight too much among themselves. Even when it was clear that Power was the best bet for the title during the races the other guys were still trying to pass him. The other 2 guys should have been racing for Will Power the past 4-5 races. Not for themselves.



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