“He walked by and that was the first time he made eye contact and I sort of smiled,” said Power, who won his second Edmonton Indy and cut Franchitti’s series lead to 38 points.
Power was really smiling when it was over.
“You have to put it behind you. There’s no better way than a win like this.
“I find it tough to be nasty to people. I can’t help it. If I’m angry with someone and I look them in the eye, I’ll start laughing. I can definitely be angry behind their back, though.”
Power, who had his streak of eight straight poles on IndyCar road courses come to an end Saturday, finished 1-2 to teammate Helio Castroneves, with Franchitti in third.
Tony Kanaan, who suffered burns in a pit fire here two years ago, finished fourth ahead of 2006 Edmonton winner Justin Wilson in fifth.
Another two-time Edmonton Indy winner, Sebastien Bourdais, ended up sixth.
Danica Patrick, who had three terrible finishes on the old track, ended up ninth.
“We had a really solid race,” she said. “It was a good top-10 finish.”
The cars didn’t manage to get through the first lap without an accident.
But it didn’t happen in the series’ supposed new Calamity Corner, on Turn 1 at the end of the long straightaway.
It happened in Turn 5, where Canada’s Alex Tagliani made contact with Graham Rahal who collected Canada’s Paul Tracy and Sebastian Saavedra.
Tracy, who had never finished lower than sixth until his 15th-place finish last year, didn’t even make it to Turn 6 in the first lap.
Tracy was doing post-race interviews before the restart, while Rahal turned colour commentator in the Versus broadcast booth for the rest of the day.
E.J. Viso spun on Turn 5, which will definitely require a larger grandstand with the events which happened there this year, after a double-wide restart following Mike Conway sending Oriol Servia partially airborne into the tire barrier. Conway was issued a drive-through penalty for avoidable contact.
Power took the lead on lap 20, taking Sato on Turn 13 at the top of the straight. Dixon caught Sato on Turn 1 and Franchitti got him on Turn 5.
Viso essentially used Dixon as his brakes and the two-time winner of the series ended up in the pits for repairs.
“To bad Dixon is out from a driver who’s used no discretion this whole race,” said pit boss Mike Hall.
Dixon told his crew to “get me back goin’ — I want to take Viso out.”
Pole winner Sato’s day managed to get even worse when Ryan Hunter-Reay made avoidable contact (and served a drive-through penalty), leaving the Japanese driver stalled in the middle of Turn 5.
“I am so disappointed,” said Sato.
Franchitti was happy to be in third, considering he “screwed up a restart”.
And at the end of the day he offered the most complete review of the new race place in Edmonton.
“I thought the infrastructure, the grandstands and everything offered great viewing points for the fans.
“The promoter did a good job of that. It looked like the crowd, as usual, was enthusiastic. The reception the Canadian crowd gave us from the back of the truck there on the parade lap, that was cool.
“The track, I think produces more more passing than the old track but maybe it’s taken some of the character out of it. There’s some really fast, aggressive corners. You really had to hang on. This is more of a technical track the whole way. And I thought it was a good race.”
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