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Franchitti victory brings mixed emotions

WEST ALLIS, Wis. — Dario Franchitti was sorry to see Tony Kanaan drop out of contention.

Helio Castroneves? Not so much.

Franchitti took the lead after Kanaan crashed and Castroneves had a tire problem, and the two-time defending IndyCar series champion led the final 27 laps to win Sunday's Milwaukee 225 at the Milwaukee Mile.

Franchitti said a blocking move by Castroneves revved up his temper on a restart in which Castroneves was first, Kanaan second and Franchitti third.

"I was trying to get on Kanaan's gearbox," Franchitti said. "… I was still so spittin' mad from what Helio did on that restart, I was doing all I could to get on to him and get past Tony as well."

Franchitti said Castroneves "blocked to the inside, then blocked to the outside. No wonder he got a flat tire, some of the parts of the track he was using."

Kanaan crashed with 31 laps to go, and Castroneves gave up the lead when he made a late extra pit stop to change a tire that was going flat.

Graham Rahal was second, followed by Oriol Servia, Will Power and Danica Patrick, who earned her first top-five finish this season.

Franchitti pulled even with Power in the series standings.

Franchitti seemed genuinely sorry for Kanaan, his close longtime friend.

"I think we have a respect for each other," Franchitti said.

"It's a shame," Kanaan said. "It's my fault."

The race was a return to the Milwaukee Mile, which dates to 1903 but didn't host major events last year because of previous promoters' financial woes.

NHRA: Robert Hight broke the national speed record with a 316.45 mph semifinal run at the Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tenn., on his way to winning the Funny Car class. He defeated Jack Beckman in the final with a 4.092-second run at 314.90 mph. Larry Dixon (Top Fuel) and Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) also won their divisions.

EAST BAY RACEWAY: Devin Dixon won the 50-lap Late Model main event late Saturday in Gibsonton.

Franchitti victory brings mixed emotions 06/19/11 [Last modified: Sunday, June 19, 2011 11:56pm]
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