Franchitti win cuts Will Power’s points lead

Dario Franchitti in Victory Lane at Chicagoland Speedway

Dario Franchitti in Victory Lane at Chicagoland Speedway

Dario Franchitti has practically cut in half the points lead of Australia’s Will Power by winning the latest race of the IZOD IndyCar Series at Chicagoland Speedway today.

Franchitti’s win came by virtue of a slick strategy call by his Target Chip Ganassi Racing crew, taking just fuel at his final pit stop to vault to the front and double stint his last set of Firestone tyres.

Franchitti held on to win from Dan Wheldon and Marco Andretti, shaving Power’s championship lead to just 23 points with three races remaining, all on ovals.

“We were struggling tonight with the Breathe Right car really in traffic as we got a little further back there,” said Franchitti, who will drive with Jim Beam Racing at the Armor All Gold Coast 600 this October.

“(There was) a lot of crazy stuff going on. I was just more comfortable up high.

“That last stop was the key to this race. Chris Simmons, turns out he was the one that made the call. We had a lot of faith in the Firestone tyres. He said leave the tyres on and got us out front.

“Dan Wheldon, he was just pushing me all the time, just helping me. I was giving him room at the bottom. We were working together very, very well there. So between him and Scott Dixon pushing me around all night. This Team Target is amazing.”

Will Power was fast at Chicagoland but a faulty fuel rig cost him vital time in the pits

Will Power was fast at Chicagoland but a faulty fuel rig cost him vital time in the pits

Power was pleased to prove that he has what it takes to compete for wins on ovals, right on the tail of Franchitti in the closing stages, but rued the costly mistake, a problem with the team’s refueling rig, that forced him to make an extra stop for fuel with five laps remaining, dropping him to eventually finish back in 16th place.

“That was a really intense race and man, I had a lot of fun out there in the Verizon car,” said Power, who will suit up for Ford Performance Racing at the Armor All Gold Coast 600 in October.

“Unfortunately, we had a problem with our fuel late in the race and we had to come back in and lost position. That was just a mistake that we couldn’t afford.

“This obviously makes things tougher for the championship, but we’re still in front and we proved how competitive we can be on the ovals. We’ll move on and we will work harder next week at Kentucky.”

Kiwi ace Scott Dixon, who will drive for Jack Daniel’s Racing at the Armor All Gold Coast 600 later this year, was eighth and Australian Ryan Briscoe, who will drive for the Toll Holden Racing Team at Surfers, came home in 12th place.

The IZOD IndyCar Series resumes next weekend at the fast Kentucky Speedway 1.5-mile oval in Sparta, Kentucky.

RESULTS: Peak Antifreeze and Motor Oil Indy 300
Chicagoland Speedway (Joliet, Illinois)

Pos

Car

Driver Car Name

Laps

Status

1.

#10

Dario Franchitti Target Chip Ganassi Racing

200

Running

2.

#4

Dan Wheldon Panther Racing

200

Running

3.

#26

Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport

200

Running

4.

#37

Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport

200

Running

5.

#11

Tony Kanaan Andretti Autosport

200

Running

6.

#3

Helio Castroneves Team Penske

200

Running

7.

#22

Justin Wilson Dreyer & Reinbold Racing

200

Running

8.

#9

Scott Dixon Target Chip Ganassi Racing

200

Running

9.

#14

Vitor Meira A.J. Foyt Enterprises

200

Running

10.

#02

Graham Rahal Newman-Haas Racing

200

Running

11.

#6

Ryan Briscoe Team Penske

200

Running

12.

#34

Bertrand Baguette (R) Conquest Racing

200

Running

13.

#06

Hideki Mutoh Newman-Haas Racing

200

Running

14.

#7

Danica Patrick Andretti Autosport

200

Running

15.

#67

Sarah Fisher Sarah Fisher Racing

199

Running

16.

#12

Will Power Team Penske

199

Running

17.

#32

Mario Moraes KV Racing Technology

199

Running

18.

#21

Davey Hamilton de Ferran Dragon Racing

199

Running

19.

#18

Milka Duno Dale Coyne Racing

197

Running

20.

#20

Ed Carpenter Panther Racing

179

Mechanical

21.

#19

Alex Lloyd (R) Dale Coyne Racing

162

Running

22.

#66

Jay Howard (R) Sarah Fisher Racing

161

Mechanical

23.

#78

Simona de Silvestro (R) HVM Racing

150

Mechanical

24.

#24

Ana Beatriz (R) Dreyer & Reinbold Racing

88

Mechanical

25.

#77

Alex Tagliani FAZZT Race Team

85

Contact

26.

#5

Takuma Sato (R) KV Racing Technology

80

Contact

27.

#8

EJ Viso KV Racing Technology

80

Contact

28.

#36

Tomas Scheckter Conquest Racing

4

Contact

29.

#2

Raphael Matos de Ferran Dragon Racing

4

Contact

2010 IZOD IndyCar Series
Points Standings after Race 14 of 17

1. Will Power Australia 528
2. Dario Franchitti Scotland 505
3. Scott Dixon New Zealand 443
4. Ryan Briscoe Australia 406
5. Helio Castroneves Brail 398
6. Ryan Hunter-Reay United States 392
7. Tony Kanaan Brazil 360
8. Marco Andretti United States 319
9. Justin Wilson England 316
10. Dan Wheldon England 309

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