Dario Franchitti Kissing Trophy

IZOD IndyCar Series drivers review their 2012 season. Today is Dario Franchitti, who drove the No. 10  Target Chip Ganassi Racing car:

If you think about Indy and (what) Indy (means) to me, to the Target team and most teams and drivers, we see it as important as the rest of the season. So when you can win it, it's great.

Any year and any time you can win at Indy is fabulous. That was a great Month of May. (Team owner) Chip (Ganassi) always tells us at the start of the year that's there's two goals -- to win Indy and to win the championship. So we accomplished one goal.

The rest of the season, there were times when it was pretty painful. Early on, it was very painful -- just getting the car to do what we needed it to do and me learning how to drive the car the way I needed to drive it. Then we figured it out, and just one thing happened after another.

That happens in racing. You get the ebb and flow.

The good news is I think the pace was there. We had one of our best qualifying averages for years, and I'm pretty happy about that. We just need to turn it into results.

We had some good days, but we had some tough days. I'll be trying to improve for next season.

Season in a nutshell

Average start: 6.5
Average finish: 10.8
Victories: 1 (Indianapolis)
Poles: 3 (Milwaukee, Iowa, Toronto in a row)
Top-10 finishes: 7
Laps led: 112 (in seven races; high of 63 at Milwaukee)

Of note

Won the Indianapolis 500 for the third time. ... Finished seventh in the championship standings after winning the title the previous three seasons. ... Enters 2013 season with streak of nine consecutive top-10 starts. ... Entes 2013 tied with Sebastien Bourdais and Paul Tracy for seventh on the all-time Indy car victory list with 31. ... Also is tied with Will Power with 29 poles -- eighth on the all-time list. Speaking of eighth on the all-time list, Franchitti is eighth in top-five finishes (88) and is tied with Helio Castroneves and Scott Dixon in second-place finishes (29).