Dario Franchitti slipped the wreath over his head and took a healthy sip of cool milk in the 91-degree mid-afternoon heat in Victory Circle at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. First, however, he donned a pair of white cardboard sunglasses -- a tribute to longtime friend, teammate, competitor and fellow Indianapolis 500 champion Dan Wheldon.
Franchitti became the seventh member of the three-time Indianapolis 500 winners club, holding off charges from Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Scott Dixon, Takuma Sato and Tony Kanaan over the final five laps following a restart.
Franchitti, the reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion, won under caution as Sato's No. 15 Rahal Letterman Racing car made slight contact with the left side Franchitti's No. 50 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car while running side-by-side for the lead on the white flag lap. That shot Sato's car up the track and into the Turn 1 SAFER Barrier, bringing out the yellow flag.
Franchitti led teammate Scott Dixon and Kanaan under the twin checkered flags to cap a wild and entertaining race featuring the new car-engine package. There were a record 34 lead changes among 10 drivers, including eight passes for the lead in the final 25 laps.
Listen to the INDYCAR Radio Broadcasts:
Pole Day Broadcast - 11:00am-1:00pm
Pole Day Broadcast - 4:30pm-6:00pm
Bump Day Broadcast - 11am-1pm
Bump Day Broadcast - 5:00pm-6:00pm
Carb Day Broadcast
The 96th Running of the Indianapolis 500