This weekend the IRL Indycar Series was making it’s annual visit to the short track at Richmond Virginia. After last weeks crash filled race at Iowa Speedway noone knew what to expect, more of the same, or less of the same.
The 19 strong field did not disappoint, putting the crash fest of last week behind them, running an almost perfect race, so good in fact that the race record was raised to an average of 133mph plus, an indication of just how clean the race was.
For Penskes Sam Hornish Jr the race however did not get off to a good start, with him appearing to get on the gas too hard at the start, resulting in a spin, but luckily he did not hit anything and was able to carry on in the race, without even losing a lap.
The story of the day was once again Dario Franchitti. He spent almost the whole race in front of the field, not leading only 9 laps of the 250. He really was the class of the field and controlled the race the whole way, keeping everyone else at bay. The final caution of the day left only a 5 lap sprint to the checkered flag, and with Dixon and Wheldon breathing down his neck at the restart, Franchitti made sure he got a good jump on the field and was never headed, driving away form 2nd finisher Dixon, and 3rd placed Wheldon. Tony Kannan followed that trio home in 4th place.
So after last week, when Franchitti outlasted his opposition, this week he just drove away from all of the Championship contenders, the only way to win a race! The end of the race worked out well for Franchitti, but after qualifying yesterday things did not look quite so good. An imbalance in the cars handling meant he could only qualify in 12th position, so started the race from deep in the field.
After the race Franchitti was quoted as saying "The team took an educated guess on the setup for today, and it worked out!"
This win is Franchittis 3rd top three finish at Richmond in the last 3 years, and further adds to him being a Roadcourse and Short Oval Specialist, and now sees him with a 65 point lead in the season Championship over Scott Dixon, and with roadcourse tracks making up the next few rounds, Franchitti is in a great position to consolidate his Championship lead and try to take it out of reach of the chasing pack.