Toronto owed Dario Franchitti a victory. The Scotsman collected in today's Molson Indy.
Two years ago, he started from the pole and crashed with Bobby Rahal on the first turn of the race. Last year, Franchitti again started from the pole and led 76 laps before his brakes gave out. He crashed, also on Turn 1 of the 1.755-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit--finishing 20th.
"It's about time I finished a race here," Franchitti said.
This time, the day was all his as he started second but passed Gil de Ferran for the lead three turns into the race and stayed out front to the finish, despite a balky gearbox. "Gil braked a little early and I saw a chance to pass him," Franchitti said. "I went for it and then just drove away. We didn't even have a close call."
Franchitti admitted he was a little leery coming back to the circuit where his luck has been so bad on race day.
"But I put it out of my head as soon as possible," he said. "Other than my gearbox, there weren't any issues all day. Actually, I was pretty cautious all weekend. I wasn't running 100 percent out there until I had to and we did a lot of work on the brakes this week. That certainly helped me."
As for unlucky Turn 1, a tight right-hander, Franchitti joked, "On the cooldown lap, I thought I might just spin there in sympathy, but I just slowed down. It's nice to finally finish a race here."
It was a big day for Team Kool Green as teammate Paul Tracy, a local favorite from Toronto, trailed Franchitti across the finish line by 2.624 seconds.
Franchitti, 26, used his first win of the season and the fourth of his career to vault from fourth to second in the standings and move within seven points of series leader Juan Montoya after 11 of 20 races.
CAPTION: Starter Jim Swintal waves checkered flag for Dario Franchitti of Scotland, who moved into second place in series standings behind Juan Montoya.