Dario Franchitti: 3rd Indy 500 Win Cements Driver's Hall of Fame Legacy

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistMay 28, 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 Indianapolis 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

Dario Franchitti's Hall of Fame resume was sealed with a big glass of milk at Sunday's Indianapolis 500. 

For the third time in his long, storied career, Franchitti was able to kiss the bricks—and Ashley Judd—after one of the most emotional, frantic races in IndyCar history. His win was a perfect moment to capture one of the best race days in a long time. 

While we all break down what happened in the race, it is time to start looking back at all that Franchitti has done and recognize that he has just cemented his place in IndyCar Racing history with this victory. 

Looking at some of the accomplishments in Franchitti's career, he has been arguably the best driver in either NASCAR or IndyCar since the start of the 2007 season. Even his one-year foray into NASCAR in 2008 was invaluable because it proved he was willing to challenge himself. 

That one misstep notwithstanding, here is a list of the accomplishments for Franchitti in his IndyCar career following Sunday's victory:

 21 Career IndyCar Victories
 70 Career Top-Five Finishes
 Four Points Championships, Including Three in a Row (2007, 2009-2011)
 Three-Time Indianapolis 500 Champion (2007, 2010, 2012)
 Finished Top 10 In Points Standings Seven Times

In order to be a Hall of Famer, you have to shine on the biggest stage that your sport has to offer and maintain a dominant level of performance for a long, sustained period of time. 

Franchitti has been racing full-time in IndyCar since 2004—with the exception of 2008—and has put up the numbers you see above. 

If there was any doubt about Franchitti's Hall of Fame standing prior to the 2012 Indianapolis 500, it was washed away as soon as he crossed the finish line. He belongs in the Motorsports Hall of Fame the day he becomes eligible.