Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dario Franchitti wins his second Indy 500

INDIANAPOLIS — On the first two turns of the first lap of Sunday's Indianapolis 500, Dario Franchitti went wide from his starting spot on the outside of Row 1 to pass Will Power, then picked off pole-sitter Helio Castroneves just before a yellow flag flew.

For the opening lap of a 200-lap, 500-mile race, it was a relatively insignificant moment.

Yet the moment encapsulated the 94th running of the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing."

As expected, a past champion driving for one of the IndyCar series' iconic owners won and put his name on a new line in the 500 record book. Just not the driver most people expected.

Castroneves was gunning for his fourth 500 victory to tie the record. Instead, Franchitti led Lap 1 and 154 more in the race's most dominant performance since Juan Pablo Montoya led 167 laps in his 2000 win.

St. Petersburg resident Dan Wheldon finished second and Marco Andretti finished third; Andretti initially was scored sixth but was moved up after a review showed that three cars passed him under the final caution. Danica Patrick was the highest finisher of four women, in sixth.

Franchitti, the 2007 winner, is the 17th driver to win multiple Indy 500s. Ganassi also notched a notable double, having also won the Daytona 500 in February with Jamie McMurray to become the first owner ever to win both races in the same year.

Did the first lap make it all happen? No … maybe.

"That kind of set the stage," Ganassi said. "That was a very important kind of pumping-his-fist in staking his claim."

Franchitti's No. 10 car was outstanding on one of the hottest days in race history, with a high of 89. The slick 2.5-mile, century-old track showed its teeth by claiming several drivers in solo accidents, most in the treacherous Turns 1 and 2.

The last crash, on the last lap, was the most spectacular. Mike Conway ran over Ryan Hunter-Reay's left rear tire in the south short chute, soared into the catch fence and flipped before coming to rest upside down.

Conway was taken to the hospital with a broken left leg; two fans were hit by debris and treated for minor injuries.

Hunter-Reay said he was slowing because he had run out of fuel. He, like much of the field, pitted under caution on Lap 163; trying to run the final 37 laps without stopping again forced several frontrunners to either stop for a splash of fuel or slow down to conserve.

Franchitti won under caution in a moment reminiscent of his first win, when Andretti went upside-down on a crash moments before the race was called for rain after 166 laps.

Sunday's caution ended a frantic — though at times slow — final laps where Franchitti, Wheldon and others tried to save fuel. Some couldn't, like Tony Kanaan, who had spent all day working from 33rd to second, only to need a splash of fuel at Lap 196. He finished 11th.

Wheldon feared he may have tried to save too much.

"Perhaps I should have not been so disciplined," said Wheldon, runnerup for the second consecutive year. "Back in the day I'd have probably ignored some of the instructions that I got on those last five laps, but as I've got older, I think I'm a bit better behaved. But maybe that bit me in the butt a little bit."

Franchitti turned laps as slow as 202 mph in the closing moments, but those tortoise ways landed the Borg-Warner Trophy as he crawled to the finish when Conway's wreck brought out the final caution.

"I was managing the gap to Dan," the Scotsman said. "That last lap, I saved a lot of fuel. I was quite happy."

His last lap, and his first lap, couldn't have gone any better.

Most dominant champions

Indy 500 drivers who led the most laps on their way to victory:

1. Billy Arnold, 1930 198

2. Bill Vukovich Sr., 1953 195

T3. Jim Clark, 1965 190

T3. Al Unser Sr., 1970 190

T5. Parnelli Jones, 1963 167

T5. Juan Montoya, 2000 167

7. Lee Wallard, 1951 159

8. Emerson Fittipaldi, 1989 158

9. Dario Franchitti, 2010 155

10. Jimmy Murphy, 1922 153

Dario Franchitti wins his second Indy 500 05/30/10 [Last modified: Monday, May 31, 2010 7:39am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. College World Series: Gators, LSU face off in all-SEC finals


    OMAHA, Neb. — The matchup for the College World Series finals bolsters the case for those who say the best baseball in the land is played in the SEC.

    Florida’s Brady Singer, delivering during a CWS win over Louisville last week, is scheduled to start tonight against LSU.
  2. Jones: Fox Sports Sun shows depth in Rays coverage

    TV and Radio

    tom jones' two cents

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) makes a run home for a score in the in the final game of a three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays and AL East rival the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, June 25, 2017.
  3. Brian Boyle says returning to Lightning a 'huge option'


    As former Lightning forward Brian Boyle approaches free agency this week, he said he's trying to stay busy.

    Former Tampa Bay Lightning player center Brian Boyle (24), on the ice during first period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa on March 16, 2017.
  4. Rays journal: Blake Snell to rejoin rotation, Erasmo Ramirez heads to bullpen

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — LHP Blake Snell is rejoining the Rays' rotation, but the move has as much to do with helping the bullpen as it does with Snell's improvement during his time at Triple-A Durham.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Erasmo Ramirez (30) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday, June 21, 2017 in St. Petersburg.
  5. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.