Dario Franchitti held off teammate Tony Kanaan yesterday in Fontana, Calif., to win the Toyota Indy 400 in a fitting finale to the Indy Racing League season.
Franchitti's victory was the 11th in 17 races this season for the dominating Andretti Green Racing team, which previously had Dan Wheldon clinch the series title.
Rookie sensation Danica Patrick, who spent most of the day hovering near the back of the top 10, saw her season end in a jarring crash that brought out the fourth and final caution flag just 16 laps from the end of the 200-lap event.
The green flag waved for the start of Lap 193 with Franchitti just ahead of Kanaan. That's the way it stayed to the finish, with speeds reaching close to 218 mph on the high-banked, two-mile oval.
On the final lap, Kanaan made a strong outside move and pulled briefly alongside his teammate, but he appeared to bog down just before the finish line. Franchitti won by 0.1117 of a second.
"I could see him coming," Franchitti said. "He was coming up quickly and I really don't know what happened."
A.J. Foyt IV brought out the race's first caution with a one-car crash in his final IRL race. Foyt, who will switch to NASCAR's Busch Series beginning next week, was taken to a hospital after complaining of pain in his knees. He was examined and released.
* FORMULA ONE: Fernando Alonso captured the Chinese Grand Prix in Beijing to clinch Renault's first constructors' title. Alonso started from the pole in the season finale and held off McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen for his seventh title this season.
The 24-year-old Spaniard jumped on a fence and waved to his team and mechanics, a more animated celebration than the one three weeks ago in Brazil when he became F1's youngest champion.