Dario Franchitti has dominated the Milwaukee 225 to tie Will Power’s points lead in the 2011 Izod IndyCar Series.
Franchitti led the race early, and survived mid-race battles with Tony Kanaan and Helio Castroneves to emerge with the lead on the final restart with less than 25 laps to go.
Castroneves had led prior to the yellow flag for a crashed Kanaan, but was forced to pit with a deflating left-rear tyre.
“That was a hell of a run today,” said Franchitti after the race.
“The first part of the race I thought I had a bit of an advantage on everybody.
“Then Tony (Kanaan) came marching along and he looked really, really strong, and he gave me a hard time as usual.
“To win here at Milwaukee is always special. It’s such hard work and a such a hard race.”
Graham Rahal continued his outstanding season to record a second place finish, ahead of Newman-Haas Racing’s Oriol Servia, Power, and Danica Patrick.
Starting 17th, Power was pleased to avoid the mid-pack tangles on his way to a solid points finish.
“A couple double file restarts were good for me, a couple were bad,” said Power.
“I’m pretty happy to get the Verizon car up there. I guess we are equal on points now. Good job by Dario. He came back after Texas to teach us a lesson, so I guess we will have to be quick at Iowa.
“We just have to keep fighting away, keep having good days like this and make no mistakes and we’ll be good.”
James Hinchcliffe, Scott Dixon, Takuma Sato, Castroneves and Justin Wilson rounded out the top 10 – with the Japanese driver having recovered from an early pit-road penalty for colliding with a crew memeber.
Ryan Briscoe finished 11th after losing several places thanks to a slow final pitstop.
Kanaan was not the only driver to crash out of the race, with Ryan Hunter Reay, Ana Beatriz, JR Hildebrand, Alex Lloyd, Sebastian Saavadera and EJ Viso all finding the walls on the one-mile oval during the 225 lap journey.
See below for the full race result
|2||12||Graham Rahal||Service Central||225||Running|
|3||10||Oriol Servia||Telemundo/Newman Haas Racing||225||Running|
|4||17||Will Power||Verizon Team Penske||225||Running|
|5||15||Danica Patrick||Team GoDaddy||225||Running|
|6||16||James Hinchcliffe||Sprott/Newman Haas Racing||225||Running|
|7||3||Scott Dixon||Target Chip Ganassi Racing||225||Running|
|8||5||Takuma Sato||KV Racing Technology||225||Running|
|9||2||Helio Castroneves||Guidepoint Systems Team Penske||225||Running|
|10||13||Justin Wilson||Dad’s Root Beer/Dreyer & Reinbold||225||Running|
|11||8||Ryan Briscoe||Transitions Adaptive Lenses Penske||225||Running|
|12||20||Mike Conway||Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda||225||Running|
|13||9||Marco Andretti||Team Venom Energy||225||Running|
|14||21||Charlie Kimball||Levemir and NovoLog FlexPen||224||Running|
|15||23||James Jakes||Acorn Stairlifts||223||Running|
|16||25||Ed Carpenter||Direct Supply/Sarah Fisher Racing||223||Running|
|17||11||Ana Beatriz||Team Ipiranga/Dreyer & Reinbold||222||Running|
|18||19||Alex Tagliani||Bowers & Wilkins/Sam Schmidt||196||Running|
|19||4||Tony Kanaan||GEICO – KV Racing Technology||194||Contact|
|20||6||EJ Viso||PDVSA – KV Racing Technology||163||Contact|
|21||18||JR Hildebrand||National Guard Panther Racing||120||Contact|
|22||14||Alex Lloyd||Boy Scouts of America||79||Contact|
|23||24||Sebastian Saavedra||Conquest Racing||78||Contact|
|24||22||Vitor Meira||ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt Racing||69||Handling|
|25||26||Simona de Silvestro||Nuclear Clean Air Energy||11||Handling|
|26||7||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Team GoDaddy.com||0||Contact|