Indianapolis (AP)— One lap to go, running on empty and someone bearing
down on his tail.
After having the dominant car and the perfect game plan, Dario Franchitti still needed more Sunday—one break to win his second
He got it in the form of a spectacular, airborne crash that brought
out a yellow flag and allowed him to cross the line with a scant 1.6
gallons of fuel left.
That 1.6 gallons left him holding a quart of milk, a winner at the
Brickyard for the second time in four years.
“Still running,” the winner told his crew over the radio as he
crossed the finish line, while wreckers were moving out to scoop up
debris from an accident that sent Mike Conway into the wall and to the
hospital with a broken left leg.
The victory made Franchitti’s boss, Chip Ganassi, the first owner to
win Indy and NASCAR’s Daytona 500 in the same year.
“All he wants to do is win,” Franchitti said.
This win validated the Scottish driver’s return to the IndyCar
circuit two years after celebrating his 2007 Indy victory by making an
unsuccessful move with Ganassi to NASCAR.
It also made Franchitti and crew look like the master tacticians they
were on this day—working the gas pedal perfectly to stretch their final
fill-up for the last 37 laps and edge out 2005 champion Dan Wheldon of
“You have to be prepared for all eventualities there,” Ganassi said.
“We had to play that game being the leader to keep those guys behind us,
but also stay in front of them to make it to the finish.”