Indy 500 2012: Dario Franchitti's Legend Grows at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Austin GreenCorrespondent IMay 27, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 27:  Dario Franchitti of Scotland, driver of the #50 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, pours the victory milk over his head in victory lane in celebration of winning the IZOD IndyCar Series 96th running of the Indianpolis 500 mile race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 27, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

The legend has done it again.

Dario Franchitti won the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, notching his third career victory at The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

It was a thrilling race from start to finish, with a record-setting 35 lead changes. In the end, Franchitti was able to hold on to first place while his top opponents got knocked out one by one.

IndyCar points leaders Will Power and Mike Conway crashed into each other, while Marco Andretti—a three time top-three finisher at the Indy 500—wrecked with 13 laps to go.

Franchitti received a little more luck later in the race, when a hard-charging Takuma Sato crashed while trying to pass Franchitti on the last lap.

It was a brilliant finish, and you have to admire Sato's go-big-or-go-home mindset with time running out. But in the end, it was Franchitti's race to lose, and the experienced and savvy Scotsman wasn't letting this one slip away.

He has now won three of the last six Indy 500s (2007, 2010 and 2012) and is just one victory away from joining A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears as the only drivers to win the Borg-Warner Trophy four times.

Even if he never drinks the milk again at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the 39-year-old Franchitti has already cemented his status as a racing legend.

He's one of the most versatile drivers around and, as he proved once again on Sunday, still has plenty of gas left in the tank.

Whether you're a fan of another driver or you just plain don't like Franchitti, you have to at least appreciate the greatness that Dario continues to display.