Franchitti Wins in Nashville

Dario Franchitti won an accident-strewn Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville, after a late race pass on Patrick Carpentier

Franchitti Wins in Nashville

The Scot passed Carpientier just after the final restart on lap 193, getting by in Turn Four and pulling away on the final laps to take his first victory of the season by 1.316 seconds.

Penske Racing's Sam Hornish Jr finished second, after he too passed the Cheever Racing driver in the closing laps.

Carpientier, who had been briefly up in the air earlier in the race following a collision with Buddy Lazier, vaulted up the leaderboard when he short-filled when the leaders made their final stops.

With rain threatening, the Canadian's gamble looked like it could hand him the victory, however the rain held off long enough for the last ten laps to be run under green and Franchitti to make his move.

Ironically, Carpentier's race was aided by an accident that befell his teammate Alex Barron, causing a final yellow flag for any fuel worries to evaporate.

Barron collided with Vitor Meira in the fiery accident on lap 174. Meira attempted to dive down the inside of Barron on the back stretch, but Barron moved down on him and they made contact. The pair then careered into the Turn Four wall, igniting the fuel inside both cars creating a spectacular ball of flames.

It was one of several accidents. Tomas Enge brought out the race's first yellow flag after the Panther Racing car bottomed out on the bumps of Turn One on lap 27, causing the Czech driver to spin into the wall backwards. Enge's Dallara skidded along the circuit's perimeter before coming to a rest at Turn Two having taken three corners off his car. He was later transferred to hospital for a scan on his back.

Tony Kanaan suffered a bizarre accident with Darren Manning on lap 116 after he had led many of the races' early laps. Race officials had already brought out a yellow flag for debris, before Kanaan's left-front suspension collapsed at Turn One. Unable to control the car, Kanaan then made contact with Manning, who was on his right.

Moments later Kanaan's right-front suspension collapsed and Kanaan's Dallara crushed Manning's Ganassi Panoz against the Turn One wall. Thankfully the pair were able to walk from their cars unaided.

Kanaan said: "Manning didn't know what had happened - he thought he slowed down too early. I slowed down from of the yellow and went to the inside to keep the flow going. But then I hit the debris and it broke the suspension."

Championship points leader Dan Wheldon suffered his first retirement in twelve months. An outside upright failed in a plume of black smoke on Wheldon's Dallara as the Brit completed a routine pitstop on lap 96. Wheldon's 76-point Championship lead remained intact after chief rival Kanaan's accident.

Pos  Driver               Make-Engine      Laps
 1.  Dario Franchitti     Dallara-Honda    200
 2.  Sam Hornish Jr.      Dallara-Toyota   200
 3.  Patrick Carpentier   Dallara-Toyota   200
 4.  Scott Sharp          Panoz-Honda      200
 5.  Helio Castroneves    Dallara-Toyota   200
 6.  Scott Dixon          Panoz-Toyota     200
 7.  Danica Patrick       Panoz-Honda      200
 8.  Ryan Briscoe         Panoz-Toyota     200
 9.  Buddy Lazier         Dallara-Chevy    200
10.  Ed Carpenter         Dallara-Toyota   199
11.  Roger Yasukawa       Dallara-Honda    199
12.  A.J. Foyt IV         Dallara-Toyota   199
13.  Jimmy Kite           Dallara-Toyota   195
14.  Kosuke Matsuura      Panoz-Honda      176
15.  Alex Barron          Dallara-Toyota   175
16.  Vitor Meira          Panoz-Honda      175
17.  Tomas Scheckter      Dallara-Chevy    160
18.  Buddy Rice           Panoz-Honda      134
19.  Tony Kanaan          Dallara-Honda    116
20.  Darren Manning       Panoz-Toyota     115
21.  Dan Wheldon          Dallara-Honda     96
22.  Bryan Herta          Dallara-Honda     75
23.  Tomas Enge           Dallara-Chevy     27
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