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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