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Posts Tagged ‘Andretti Green Racing.’

100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500: Wheldon takes advantage of Hildebrand crash to win race

MEGASPORTSNEWS.COM RACE COVERAGE

 

INDIANAPOLIS – It’s hard to believe that IndyCar veteran Dan Wheldon does not have a regular ride for 2011.

After all, the 32-year-old native of England has driven for Chip Ganassi Racing, Andretti Green Racing and Panther Racing. He has 16 wins on the circuit and two Indy 500 victories.

But for the 2011 Indianapolis 500, Wheldon was hired by old friend and former teammate Bryan Herta to a one-race contract for Bryan Herta Autosport.

Dan Wheldon (file photo)

Driving the #98 William Rast/CURB Big Machine car in Sunday’s race, it seemed like Wheldon was destined for another second place finish. He had finished second at Indy in 2009 and 2010 driving for Panther Racing.

But something happened in the last lap of the race.

Wheldon, who started the race sixth, on the outside of Row 2, was behind the leader JR Hildebrand on Turn 4. He saw the rookie crash into the wall and took the lead position before the caution flag flew and crossed the finish line under yellow. Race officials took more than two hours to declare Wheldon the official winner.

Wheldon’s contract with Bryan Herta expired at midnight Sunday night and he had no word on whether he would be driving anymore in 2011.

One wonders why the IndyCar owners can’t find a ride for Wheldon.

Auto Racing is a strange sport. It runs on not only sponsorship money, but sometimes it’s a “what have you done for me lately” or second-place finishes aren’t enough. First-place finishes matter more. The best credentials don’t get drivers anywhere.

As for Wheldon, he’ll end up somewhere, but as a top-notch driver, he won’t come cheap!

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2010 INDY 500: Dario Franchitti, #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing; 500 Winner

MEGASPORTSNEWS.COM RACE COVERAGE

Indianapolis, Indiana – With his number 1 fan in attendance, wife Ashley Judd, cheering him on, Scottish race car driver Dario Franchitti won the 2010 Indianapolis 500. He became the 17th driver with at least two Indy 500 victories. His car was very dominant as he led 155 of the 200 laps.

Dario Franchitti IRL (nascar photo)

Dario started from the third position. This is the 11th time that the winning car has started from that position. Franchitti’s other win in 2007, also came from the third starting position.

This was the first time car number 10 won the Indianapolis 500 race.

Franchitti became the first driver from Scotland to win the Indianapolis 500 more than once. Jim Clark won in 1965.

Franchitti earned his first Indy 500 win in 2007 with Andretti Green Racing, now Andretti Autosport. He won Sunday for Target Chip Ganassi Racing. The last driver to earn his second Indy 500 win with a different team than his first was Arie Luyendyk. He won in 1990 for Shierson Racing and earned his second victory in 1997 for Treadway Racing.

Chip Ganassi became the first team owner to win the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500 in the same year.

SOUNDS FROM THE POST-RACE PRESS CONFERENCE (To listen to an audio file, click on the link)

45 032 Chip Ganassi Owner Had dominant car (megasportsnews.com)

45 036 Chip Ganassi Owner Winning Daytona and Indy 500 same season (megasportsnews.com)

45 046 Chip Ganassi Owner Bringing Dario back from NASCAR (megasportsnews.com)

45 053 Dario Franchitti IRL He’s in a class with his idol Jim Clark (megasportsnews.com)

45 061 Dario Franchitti IRL Is he as good as Jackie Stewart and Jim Clark (megasportsnews.com)

The IMS media center Tim Sullivan ready to help (megasportsnews.com)

IMS Media Center tower (megasportsnews.com)