Dario Franchitti Cruises to Third Win of the Year at Milwaukee Mile

Eric SmithCorrespondent IIIJune 20, 2011

WEST ALLIS, WI - JUNE 19:  Dario Franchitti of Scotland, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Downy Dallara Honda celebrates winning the IRL IndyCar Series Milwaukee 225 at The Milwaukee Mile on June 19, 2011 in West Allis, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

Dario Franchitti cruised to his 29th career IndyCar victory at the Milwaukee Mile.

Franchitti started on the pole and led for most of the first half of the day. 

Tony Kanaan got by Franchitti just past halfway and cruised out to the lead in his No. 82 Geico Honda.  It was shaping up to look like a three way battle for the win between Franchitti, Kanaan and Helio Castroneves. The three ran up front for almost the whole race.

On lap 195 though running in the second position and charging hard on leader Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan lost control of his Honda exiting turn four and slammed into the outside safer barrier. It was a disappointing end for Kanaan who had a legit shot at getting KV Racing into victory lane for the first time in their career.

Five laps later on lap 200 under caution, leader Helio Castroneves had to pit due to a flat left front tire. Helio had no idea it had went flat, but the team caught it and made sure to pit before disaster would have happened.

Dario Franchitti regained the lead and never looked back to a win in the Milwaukee 225 on Father's Day. He led a race-high 161 laps.

Look for the Ganassi and Penske team rivalry to heighten in the next week with Franchitti taking a shot at Helio Castroneves in his victory lane interview. He said the battles with Tony Kanaan all day were fabulous and they gave each other plenty of room and it was a lot of fun, but Helio needs to learn how to drive and not block people. He doesn't think he will ever learn.

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Fellow Ganassi teammate Graham Rahal finished second, Newman/Hass Racing's Oriol Servia finished third, Will Power who started a season worst 17th finished fourth, and American Danica Patrick rounded out the top five.

KV Racing was the biggest loser on the day with all three cars starting fourth, fifth, and sixth. E.J. Viso,  Takuma Sato and Kanaan ran up front all day, but left with two wounded race cars. Viso was having a solid top ten and maybe even a top-five run before he lost control coming off of turn four in the closing stages of the race. 

Kanaan, as stated earlier, also lost control in turn four in the closing laps. Sato had some problems in the first pit stop stint that forced contact with a pit crew member and forced him and Dixon to have slow stops. He regained composure and got a top-10 finish for the team, but disappointing in the fact that all three could have been in the top 10.

Other incidents on the day happened on lap 1 when Ryan Hunter-Reay lost control in turn two of his Go Daddy Honda and slammed the outside retaining wall. Another incident later on in the race happened on lap 79 when Alex Lloyd and Sebastian Saveedra's incident in turn two.

Rookie J.R. Hildebrand made contact with the wall as well on lap 120 when he got too high exiting turn four and slamming into the outside wall. All the drivers got out under their own power with no injuries.

Simona de Silvestro only lasted 11 laps in an ill handling race car. The team stayed late to rebuild the car after it was damaged in a qualifying wreck on Saturday that forced de Silvestro to be hospitalized. The car wasn't fully built the way it should have been to compete and she called it a day early.

The only other car to not finish was Foyt Racing's Vitor Meira. Mechanical problems forced Vitor out of contentions on lap 69 and left him with a 24th place finish.

Dario's win and Power's fourth place finished forced a tie for the Championship Points Lead between the two heading into Saturday night's race in Iowa. Oriol Servia's third place finish moved him past Scott Dixon into third in the standings.

Finishing Order

1. 10 Dario Franchitt- 225 laps

2. 38 Graham Rahal- 225 laps

3.  2  Oriol Servia- 225 laps

4. 12 Will Power- 225 laps

5.  7  Danica Patrick- 225 laps

6. 06 James Hinchcliffe (R)- 225 laps

7.  9  Scott Dixon- 225 laps

8.  5  Takuma Sato- 225 laps

9.  3  Helio Castroneves- 225 laps

10. 22 Justin Wilson- 225 laps

11.  6  Ryan Briscoe- 225 laps

12. 27 Mike Conway- 225 laps

13. 26 Marco Andretti- 225 laps

14. 83 Charlie Kimball (R)- 224 laps

15. 18 James Jakes (R)- 223 laps

16. 67 Ed Carpenter- 223 laps

17. 24 Ana Beatriz- 222 laps

18. 77 Alex Tagliani- 196 laps

19. 82 Tony Kanaan- 194 laps

20. 59 E.J. Viso- 163 laps

21.  4 J.R. Hildebrand (R)- 120 laps

22. 19 Alex Lloyd- 79 laps

23. 34 Sebastian Saveedra- 78 laps

24. 14 Vitor Meira-69 laps

25. 78 Simona de Silvestro- 11 laps

26. 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay- 0 laps

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