Franchitti Wins Indy 400 Thriller

Dario Franchitti edged out Tony Kanaan in a thrilling end to the 2005 IRL season at the California Speedway, the Scot taking his second win of the season

Franchitti Wins Indy 400 Thriller

The Andretti-Green Racing pair dominated the latter stages of the race and ran nose-to-tail during the final ten laps, pulling away from a fiesty chasing pack after a late race yellow flag period.

Kanaan, running in second, appeared to have a strong run on Franchitti in the final turn of the 400-mile race, however as the Brazilian pulled alongside the Scottish driver approaching the chequered flag, he dropped back, handing the win to his teammate.

Kanaan dismissed claims that he gifted Franchitti the victory by backing off the throttle at the last second.

"I don't know what happened," Kanaan said. "I got alongside, pressed the overtake button and the engine slowed down just a little bit. We'll find out what the problem was later. Good things happen to good people and Dario deserved this win."

Winner Franchitti, who started the race from pole, said no team orders were handed to the pair. "I could see his car coming," the Scot said. "He was coming pretty quick, working well together trying to pull away. There were no team orders - I wish there were. It was a good team effort and it worked well."

Both drivers dedicated the victory to the late Greg Moore, who lost his life in a Champ Car accident at the track in 1999.

"A few years ago we lost our best friend here," Kanaan said. "Greg, we do love you a lot."

The pair were so close at the end because of a late race yellow for an accident involving female rookie Danica Patrick. Just 16 laps from the end she came together with Chip Ganassi Racing's Jaques Lazier while battling for seventh. Lazier appeared to understeer into Patrick, which sent them both hard into the outside wall. Neither were seriously injured.

Vitor Meira finished third ahead of Scott Sharp and Sam Hornish Jr. Series Champion Dan Wheldon finished his record-breaking season in sixth.

Tomas Scheckter finished seventh, but the South African had dominated the early stages of the race, before falling down the order when his engine had to be restarted in a mid-race pitstop.

The IRL series resumes racing on March 26th 2006, at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, for the first round of the 2006 season.

Pos Driver Make-Engine Laps 1. Dario Franchitti Dallara-Honda 200 2. Tony Kanaan Dallara-Honda 200 3. Vitor Meira Panoz-Honda 200 4. Scott Sharp Panoz-Honda 200 5. Sam Hornish Jr. Dallara-Toyota 200 6. Dan Wheldon Dallara-Honda 200 7. Tomas Scheckter Dallara-Chevy 200 8. Tomas Enge Dallara-Chevy 200 9. Helio Castroneves Dallara-Toyota 200 10. Scott Dixon Panoz-Toyota 200 11. Bryan Herta Dallara-Honda 200 12. Buddy Rice Panoz-Honda 199 13. Jimmy Kite Dallara-Toyota 199 14. Alex Barron Dallara-Toyota 199 15. Patrick Carpentier Dallara-Toyota 199 16. Roger Yasukawa Dallara-Honda 198 17. Jaques Lazier Panoz-Toyota 184 18. Danica Patrick Panoz-Honda 184 19. Kosuke Matsuura Panoz-Honda 168 20. Ed Carpenter Dallara-Toyota 133 21. A.J. Foyt IV Dallara-Chevy 30 22. Thiago Medeiros Dallara-Honda 0 
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