Tag Archives: Dario Franchitti

Open Wheel Wednesday: Thoughts On The IndyCar Finale

The Verizon IndyCar championship will be decided this weekend.  The race, being held at Auto Club Speedway, on Saturday night, is likely to be captivating, with a battle down to the end between Penske teammates Will Power and Helio Castroneves.  Should they both find a banana peel on the racetrack, …

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Scott Speed Driver Diary: Getting Hitched, Danica, and Racing With Kyle in Cars and on Dolphins!

First off, I have to say that things are going quite well in my first week of marriage. Amanda and I tied the knot over the off-weekend and everything worked out well. The weather was good, which was important because it was an outside ceremony. We’ll have to wait a little bit for our honeymoon though, which will be the next off-weekend in August. We’ll be going to the Caribbean so I’m looking forward to that.

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NASCAR News for Tuesday, April 21, 2009

FOX Sees Ratings Fall at Phoenix The ratings numbers that came out following Saturday night’s race at Phoenix certainly didn’t have the same feel good story behind them that Mark Martin’s win did. Overnight ratings show a 18% decrease in viewership over last year’s race and an all-time low for …

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2008 Driver Review: Dario Franchitti

*2008 Ride:* No. 40 Chip Ganassi Racing Dodge *2008 Primary Sponsors:* Target, Fastenal, The Hartford, Kennametal, Wrigley's, Dodge *2008 Owners:* Chip Ganassi and Felix Sabates *2008 Crew Chief:* Steven Lane *Stats:* 10 races, 0 Win, 0 Top 5s, 0 Top 10s, 0 Pole, 2 DNQs, 49th in points. *Best Finish:* 22nd -- Martinsville, Spring. *High Point:* It’s tough to say, really, with NASCAR already in the rear-view mirror for the debonair Scot with the stunning movie star wife, Ashley Judd. The honest truth is that there simply wasn’t a high point in his brief foray into stock car racing.

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2008 Sprint Cup Rookie Report Cards: Economic Woes and Poor Performances Leave Their Mark

Looking back on the 2008 season, many fans will notice a lot of similarities between this year and 2007. The most obvious comparison, for example, involves the complete dominance by three-time defending champion Jimmie Johnson during both Chases. But the 2007 season also saw the emergence of a new trend in NASCAR, involving the transition of open wheel stars joining the stock car scene. After a successful freshman campaign by Juan Pablo Montoya which included a win at Infineon, that trend set the tone for the freshman class of 2008, as four out of the six Rookie of the Year candidates were open wheel converts. Just nine months later, there is a very real difference for those open wheelers that debuted in '08 as compared to '07 -- just one of them appears ready to survive for a second season. What went wrong, and could their mistakes have been corrected? It’s now time for Professor Lumbis to grade their performance throughout the season, and take a look at the other new faces that emerged onto the scene and what the future may hold for them.

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Fanning the Flames: Recent Hires Show NASCAR Owners Heading In A Familiar Direction

And with that, the Open Wheel Invasion has ended. If you're wondering about the “that” of which I speak, it's Chip Ganassi Racing’s announcement that Dario Franchitti will return to full-time IRL competition in 2009 -- leaving behind Sprint Cup aspirations that lasted all of half a season. Yes, I know a few drivers whose past is rooted in dirt will still make their way up the ranks in full-bodied stock cars on occasion, but the Big Boys -- those who were established IRL and Formula 1 stars, even champions — will most likely be staying in their respective series. How do I know? How could I make such a proclamation? The hirings of David Stremme, Casey Mears, and Reed Sorenson, that’s how.

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Nationwide Series Breakdown: 2008 Food City 250 at Bristol

*In a Nutshell:* Friday night was the night Clint Bowyer was looking for. After enduring weeks of poor-handling race cars and seeing his points lead diminish, Bowyer and the No. 2 team found themselves amongst the class of the field. By Lap 106, they took the lead and never looked back... that is, until Lap 227. Bowyer -- in the lead with no surrounding lapped traffic -- got loose exiting Turn 1 and slipped up the race track, opening the door for Brad Keselowski. Finishing off a charge to the front from his 37th starting spot, Keselowski flew by Bowyer and led the remainder of the race, scoring his second Nationwide Series win of the season and of his career -- all the while making up more ground in his chase for the series title. Bowyer held on to finish in the runner-up position, followed by Greg Biffle, polesitter Cale Gale, and David Stremme.

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Nationwide Series Breakdown: 2008 Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen

*In a Nutshell:* Unlike last weekend at Montreal, Marcos Ambrose did not have the best car in the field. But unlike last weekend, Ambrose capitalized during Saturday's race at Watkins Glen, scoring his first career NASCAR victory with a win in the Zippo 200. Ambrose ran in the third position for most of the event’s second half, stalking a furious battle between Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Burton that saw both Cup stars forced to pit with less than ten laps to go for fuel. Ambrose then cruised to an easy win, which also catapulted his No. 59 into the Top 10 in Nationwide Series points. Kyle Busch scored a strong runner-up finish for D’Hondt Motorsports in the team’s first Nationwide Series race of the season, with Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick and polesitter Dario Franchitti rounding out the Top 5.

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Mid-Term Grades – Reviewing The Rocky Rookie Road

The season is just past the halfway point, which means it’s time for Professor Lumbis to issue his midterm report cards for the 2008 rookie class. Get out your Tums, though -- as after team closures, numerous wrecks, and poor finishes, this report is sure to give some readers agita after reading about the dreadful performances turned in by the rookies so far this year.

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Rough Ride For NASCAR Freshmen At Chicagoland

As the title of the article says, the rookies just simply did not show up in Chicagoland Saturday night. Last week, every rookie finished on the lead lap; but this week, they struggled to simply stay in touch with the rest of the field. Patrick Carpentier wound up being the highest finishing freshman of a mediocre bunch, coming home the first driver one lap down in 30th place. That marked his second straight high rookie finish of the season; but unlike at Daytona, where the No. 10 car came home 14th, Carpentier was never a factor at any point throughout the night. By the time crew chief Mike Shiplett made changes that got the Gillett Evernham Dodge somewhat dialed in, the car was well out of contention with less than 50 laps to go in the race.

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