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Indy 500 Results: Where 3rd Indy Win Ranks Dario Franchitti Among Greats

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 27:  Dario Franchitti of Scotland, driver of the #50 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda holds up his fist in celebration of wining 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
Austin GreenCorrespondent IMay 28, 2012

Dario Franchitti added another line to his legendary resume by winning his third Indianapolis 500 on Sunday.

Franchitti led for 23 laps and fended off a late-surge by Takuma Sato to hold on to the victory. It was his third win in his last five tries at the historic race, with his other triumphs coming in 2007 and 2010.

It was another brilliant performance from the Scotsman, and served as an emphatic reminder that he's one of the best drivers in IndyCar history. But where does Franchitti now rank among the all-time greats to run at the Indy 500?

Let's take a look.

 

Tier 1: A.J. Foyt, Al Unser Sr., Rick Mears

As the only three drivers to win the Indy 500 four times, these men are simply on a level of their own.

Foyt, the all-time IndyCar wins leader with 67, won the Borg-Warner Trophy in 1961, 1964, 1967 and 1977. Unser Sr. won his titles in 1970, 1971, 1978 and 1987. And Mears, who also claimed a record six pole positions at the race, won the crown in 1979, 1984, 1988 and 1991.

While Franchitti has had a magical career at Indy thus far, he still has work to do if he wants to be mentioned in the same light as these three. 

 

Tier 2: Johnny Rutherford, Bobby Unser, Wilbur Shaw, Mauri Rose, Louis Meyer, Helio Castroneves, Dario Franchitti

As of now, Franchitti has firmly placed himself in this elite group of drivers. Although they never captured four wins at Indy, this is one of the most impressive lists in racing history.

Louis Meyer was the first driver to win three Indy 500s, claiming victories in 1928, 1933 and 1936. Wilbur Shaw was the first to win the Indy 500 in consecutive years (1939, 1940). And Mauri Rose, Johnny Rutherford and Bobby Unser are all legends in their own right.

The only two active drivers on this list are Franchitti and Helio Castroneves. Both are in their late 30s, but with their incredible driving talent and unparalleled knowledge of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, both are certainly capable of joining Foyt, Unser Sr. and Mears as the only four-time winners in history.

Only time will tell if either driver can achieve the feat, but one thing is for sure—there will be plenty of hype surrounding these two at next year's potentially groundbreaking Indy 500.

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