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IndyCar Series: Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma

IndyCar Series: Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma

Dario Franchitti
August 28, 2006


THE MODERATOR: We are joined by our second place finisher, Dario Franchitti. His top finish of the season to date. Dario, if you would, tell us about your run out there today.
DARIO FRANCHITTI: Where to start? I guess the start might be a good idea.
Yeah, I managed to pass Tony up to the first corner, but then I tried to get a run on Helio coming out of the carrousel. Made a mistake. Tony got back past me. After that, really just forced the person in front of me to make a mistake, try to keep up front, try to work on the car in the pit stops. Then some guys went out of sequence.
Our race really came alive in that last pit stop. I'm not sure where I came in. Probably third or fourth in that group that came in. The Klein Tools Canadian Club guys got me out first.
Certainly one of the best, if not the best, pit stops I've ever been involved in. That really gave us track position. I was pushing Tony and Danica. Danica was really pushing Tony, giving him a really hard time.
When she eventually pitted, I managed to make a move on Tony in the 6. He didn't block or any of that stuff. He saw I had a run and was very, very fair to me, like I was to him earlier.
Then I tried to chase Marco down. That last yellow really probably cost us the win because I know Marco was in trouble with fuel. When it went green again I wasn't quick enough. I probably would have only won the race on fuel strategy today.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Dario.

Q. Marco was close on stretching fuel. Do you feel that last yellow flag is really what just did it?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: That's what I just said.

Q. Could you elaborate a little bit more?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: I think I said enough really. He was in trouble with fuel and we weren't. That's the luck of the draw. That's the way it goes. He drove a hell of a race. I would say we were not as quick as him today, out of the pits anyway.
No, as I say, we could have done it on strategy. But he was definitely a little bit faster than I was today. Drove a great race.

Q. Were you surprised that Bryan spun where he did?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: Where did he spin?

Q. Seven.
DARIO FRANCHITTI: Which one do you guys call seven? The apex?

Q. Yes.
DARIO FRANCHITTI: I'm surprised more people didn't spin there. If you follow anybody through there they're coming out of there sideways. We were struggling for traction there all weekend. I came close a couple of times to looping it there, especially when you're trying to get a run on somebody there and through the S's. You really get on the power quick. I'm not surprised he spun. I came close a couple times today.

Q. Were there any team orders?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: No. They said, go, go, see if you could catch him on the restart. As I say, he was quicker. I'm really proud of the job that the team did today. Bryan, Tony, Marco, myself, the guys in the pits. I think it was a great team effort.
It's been a tough season. It seems that any track that requires a bit of handling, a bit of driving, we're in contention. The big one and a half and two milers are the ones we're struggling on right now. We need to work on that.

Q. Do you think your performance in today's race (indiscernible)?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: I think it makes no difference. They've already told me they want me to come back. It's just whether we can get a deal sorted out.

Q. (No microphone.)
DARIO FRANCHITTI: I'm not going to talk about next year at this point. I just want to celebrate with the team and the job we did today. When we work out things for next year, I'll let you know.

Q. (No microphone.)
DARIO FRANCHITTI: I'm trying to think. I just said, "You're a legend." You know, looks like -- well, I think for sure all four of us will not be on the same team next year because there's three seats. I think Bryan has already chosen what he wants to do next year.
It's kind of sad because we've built up such a good relationship. I know how much I gave out there of myself today. I'm sure everybody else did. You know, just friends.

Q. Marco was running so strong out there. Was there any possibility of you catching him out there?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: As I said, the only chance we had was he had a different pace strategy. I think in his lap times today he was quicker, but as we know, it's not always the fastest car that wins sometimes. I think on strategy, had that last yellow not come out, we would have had him. Ifs and butts.
As I say, he deserved to win that race. He drove a great weekend all in all.

Q. What do you think your boss would have said if you passed Marco at the end?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: Good job. I'm pleased to win races, not finish second. I do everything I can to do that. I wouldn't want any part of a team that operated in any other way.
THE MODERATOR: Dario, thank you very much.

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