Dario Franchitti added to his IndyCar championship lead in Toronto as he scored his fourth win of the year, with team-mate Scott Dixon right there in second. This was Dario’s third win in Toronto and the 30th of his IndyCar career, pushing him 55 points ahead of title rival Will Power who failed to finish the race after collisions with Franchitti and Alex Tagliani. Power and Franchitti collided while battling for the lead resulting in Power spinning and stalling. Power’s race then ended when he was hit in the tail by Tagliani.
The Toronto street circuit is very tight and often littered with crashes. This year’s race was no different with plenty of accidents, full-course yellows and disgruntled drivers. Power was particularly unhappy, venting his disgust with Franchitti after crashing out of his second race in a row.
“It’s pretty typical, a pretty dirty move,” said Power, “but does anyone ever penalise this guy? I left the inside open under braking and I’m really disappointed with Dario. I’ve always raced him clean and he always races me dirty. At St Pete he drove me into the wall and I didn’t say anything and he did it again today.
“And Tag hit me. Pretty typical for him. He just took me out completely. Man! Two races in a row we’re out. But I’m disappointed with Dario. He whinges about everyone and he’s the guy who races the most dirty and never gets a penalty from IndyCar. It’s not right.”
Franchitti provided his point of view. “It was wild!” he said. “Every single restart was wild. The marbles were really tricky on those restarts. We were sliding around and it was crazy. Obviously there was contact with Will and if he’s pissed off he’s quite right to be pissed off. I was going for it on the inside. I hesitated and he braked really late and I thought that was pretty impressive. But he went wide because of that so I saw a gap and went down the inside, and he came down and closed the door just as the wall was coming out. So I made contact with him. I’m sorry about that. That’s not the way I want to race.
“Ultimately I will take more than 50 per cent of the blame on that one. But I think he’s due some of the blame too. He just kept coming down and I was hugging the wall. Like I say, that’s not the way I want to race and I’ll definitely talk to him about that. I see it as a racing incident. I ran through that hairpin side-by-side with guys on the inside and outside all day long and Will didn’t give me room.”
Al Unser Jr, Brian Barnhardt’s driver expert in IndyCar’s control room, said there was never any talk of penalising Franchitti. “This was a melee of a race,” he admitted. “But between Franchitti and Power there was never any penalising issue to either driver.
“The #12 car [Power] knew the #10 [Franchitti] was there and was trying to close the door. Kanaan and Briscoe was the same. If Tony would have given Ryan just a little more room they would have been OK, and there was another example at the end of the race between [Graham] Rahal and [Ryan] Hunter-Reay. We had too many instances where the drivers were not giving up any ground.”
IndyCar racing may not enjoy the best of cachets these days, but there’s no denying that it’s a fearfully competitive form of motor racing.