IndyCar Series: Title Contenders Franchitti and Power Win Twin Races at Texas

No NameAnalyst IJune 12, 2011

Franchitti and Power
Franchitti and Power

It is only fitting that the two races at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday night were won by the two stars battling for the championship.

Dario Franchitti won the first race in dominating fashion, while Will Power did just the same in the second race. Scott Dixon finished in second place in both races.

Dario passed pole sitter Alex Tagliani before the first lap of race one was complete, and earned two bonus points for leading the most laps. Power, who retained the series points lead, finished in third, and Alex Tagliani was fourth. Takuma Sato rounded out the top five.

The first race was dominated by the Target/Chip Ganassi teams. Dario went on to take the win, just edging his teammate by 0.0527 of a second. The margin of victory was the fourth-closest at Texas Motor Speedway.

Tony Kanaan drew the pole position for the second race. Rookie Wade Cunningham started on the outside of him in a backup car, after crashing in the first race.

Dixon and Franchitti had the final two qualifying draws for the second race, and neither one of them looked good. Dixon went first and grabbed the 18th starting spot, which left the first race winner Franchitti to start back in 28th position.

The first race nearly went caution-free, before Charlie Kimball and Cunningham got mixed up near the end. For the most part, it looked as though the drivers and teams just wanted to make it through the first race.

After the drawing for the starting order for race two, the drama was really building. There were so many great cars and drivers starting in the back, such as race one winner Franchitti, runner-up Dixon, Alex Tagliani, and Takuma Sato.

Many of the teams and drivers would have preferred a simple inverted field for the second race, especially the Ganassi team. While Franchitti and Power are battling for the championship, the blind draw for the starting positions really hurt Dario as he lined up in 28th, while Power started in third
Power won the race, and now takes a 21 point lead in the standings going into next weekend's race at the Milwaukee Mile.

In the same manner that the first race was dominated by the Ganassi duo, the second race was dominated by Team Penske. Will Power was in front most of the race, and after pit stops were complete at the halfway point of race number two, Power, Castroneves, and Briscoe were running first, second, and third.

Scott Dixon wasn't going to sit back and watch the Penske cars flex their muscle. By lap 75, Scott had moved his way up towards the front, taking second place away from Ryan Briscoe as he set his sights on Power. He would not be able to reel him in though.

Will Power held off Dixon to get his very first win on an oval in the IndyCar Series. More importantly, he stretched his lead in the championship point standings over Franchitti, who finished in seventh in the second race.

Ryan Briscoe finished in third place in the second race, with Helio Castroneves and Tony Kanaan rounding out the top five. While the first race only had one caution, the second race went caution-free, something that hasn't happened since 2009.

Franchitti and Dixon showed their frustration with the blind draw for the second race in their post-race interviews. They have a valid point though. If you are going to reward championship points for something so valuable, there has to be a better way than just a luck draw. Inverting the field would put everyone in the same boat, but maybe that is something they can change for next season.

The teams will now leave Texas, and head back to the Milwaukee Mile for next weekend's Milwaukee 225 which is set for 3:30pm, and can be seen on ABC.