Franchitti rams his way to Indy win

Dario Franchitti celebrates his controversial victory at the Honda Indy Toronto on Sunday. (Jack...

Dario Franchitti celebrates his controversial victory at the Honda Indy Toronto on Sunday. (Jack Boland/QMI Agency)

Dean McNulty, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:20 AM ET

TORONTO - It started out as a clash of the titans, but the 25th Honda Indy Toronto ended up as an adult version of bumper cars at Exhibition Place on Sunday.

It was left to Dario Franchitti to batter his way to a third IZOD IndyCar win on the streets of Toronto and his record sixth win in Canada — he has two wins in Vancouver and a win in Montreal on his resume, as well — in the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Dallara Honda.

The real mayhem began with Franchitti’s punt of pole-sitter and IndyCar rival Will Power in Turn 3 on Lap 56 of the 85-lap event.

That wreck set up the native of Glasgow, Scotland to charge to the front and his 30th win of his North American open wheel career.

His Ganassi teammate, Scott Dixon, finished second in the No. 9 car with Ryan Hunter-Reay third in the No. 28 Andretti Autosport Dallara.

But it was Franchitti’s dramatic run-in with Power that caught the attention of the race-day crowd and had tongues wagging in the paddock afterwards.

Power flat out called Franchitti’s move “dirty driving” and claimed that IndyCar bosses should have levelled a penalty against the No. 10 team

“I always race him clean and he always races me dirty,” Power said. “He complains about everyone in the series and yet he gets away with everything. IndyCar never penalizes him for anything.”

For his part Franchitti would admit that he bore some responsibility for the incident that sent Power spinning around the Turn 3 hairpin.

“He has a right to be pissed,” Franchitti said. “But he has to take at least 50% of the blame. He left me a lane and then he came down.

“It was like he opened the door for me to pass and then closed it — too late.”

Franchitti said that he was taken aback by Power’s accusation of dirty driving, something he insisted he has never done in his career.

“First of all, I believe if you ask anyone in the paddock, they will tell you that is not how I race,” he said. “I think what happened today was a racing incident.”

Franchitti said that he would make an attempt to talk to Power, but did not hold out too much hope the issue could be resolved to Power’s satisfaction.

“I have no control over what Will thinks or what he chooses to say,” he said. “I’m going to continue to race the same way that I’ve raced, certainly since I’ve been in America.

“I’ll do the stuff I can control, and if Will chooses to calm down a little, then okay we can talk about it. And if he doesn’t, then there’s nothing I can do about it.”

Franchitti, however, wasn’t the only driver who was on the receiving end of criticism over on the track action.

Hunter-Reay wrecked Graham Rahal’s chance to make it a 1-2-3 Ganassi finish near the exact same spot where Power and Franchitti had clashed.

Rahal was adamant that Hunter-Reay didn’t give him room but Hunter-Reay laid the blame squarely on Rahal.

“Graham got way out into the marbles there, and then he started coming across, and there was more than enough room for two cars, and I got up in there, I already had my momentum, I was coming to the corner,” Hunter-Reay said. “And he just came straight across. He had to know I was there.”

Frayed tempers, bumps and bruises, Franchitti said, are all part of what makes the Toronto temporary street course both frustrating and fun at the same time.

“I mean, it’s the nature of this place with all the marbles on the tires, with the bumps and everything and the braking zones and different surfaces. You just have to miss by literally inches and you’re going to slide and miss the corner, and if you hit someone in front of you, there’s nothing you can do about it sometimes.

“This, to me, is one of the most challenging places we race. You’re trying to make it through there. But it sure is fun and I think (Sunday) was a good one.”


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