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NASCAR NEWS 

Franchitti happy to learn again

Dario Franchitti says that he is enjoying learning a new discipline following his switch from the IndyCar Series to NASCAR.

The 34-year-old will compete in his rookie season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup next year with Chip Ganassi Racing, and he feels that the switch from single seater racing has made him feel young again.

"It's 15 years since I won the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award," Franchitti told autosport.com at the Awards on Sunday. "Now I feel like I did before.

"It's a long time since I was the new boy. When I went over to America that was the last time I was learning something completely new.

"To reapply yourself to something makes me feel a bit younger again, and that does give me a new lease of life."

The Scottish driver also said that it would be strange to be a rookie again in 2008, but he said that he is looking forward to the challenge.

"A lot of the guys I'm competing against for the rookie championship will be 19 or 20 years old," he said. "That's quite funny too.

"I had a fantastic year, and to do a new thing gives you that fresh motivation, and I'm really looking forward to it."

The IndyCar Series champion and Indianapolis 500 winner added that receiving a Gregor Grant Award for his achievements this season was a great way to finish his year, and he also paid tribute to the late Colin McRae.

"To get that award was just fantastic," he added. "It's the icing on the cake for a great year.

"It's a little bittersweet not having Colin here as he was always the life and soul of the party, but that's why I wore my tartan trousers as a little tribute to him."

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