LONG BEACH GP: FRANCHITTI FUELED BY SUCCESS
By: Robert Morales | Apr 18, 2013
When Dario Franchitti won the Indy 500 last May, he become one of just 10 three-time winners of the prestigious race that was first contested in 1911.
For Franchitti and his Target Chip Ganassi team, that was quite a coup.
"It means a lot," said Franchitti, who this weekend will compete in the IndyCar main event at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
"It's always two goals at the start of the year. Chip always says, `Try to win the (series) championship and try to win Indianapolis.' It's a race that means so much to everybody that competes in IndyCar.
"It's such a difficult race to win, so it means a lot to win that one. It's a very special race and a very special feeling not only to myself, but to all the guys on the Target team."
There is one more rung to climb. That would be winning a fourth Indy 500. The only drivers to have done that are A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears.
"It's crossed my mind because I keep getting asked about it," Franchitti said Wednesday. "I'm definitely aware of it and it would be just incredible to join those guys in winning it four times.
"I'm very proud to have won it three times, but to win it four - you always want more, don't you?"
Speaking of more, Franchitti was asked how many more years we can expect to see him in IndyCar. He turns 40 on May 19. A week later, May 26, is the Indy 500.
"Again, it's a question I get asked a lot," he said, laughing. "I've said it many times, as long as I'm competitive and as long as I'm enjoying it and as long as Chip and the Target guys want me, I think I'll keep doing it."
Franchitti won the IndyCar series title in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011. He was in NASCAR in 2008, meaning he had won four consecutive titles for which he competed ahead of last year. He was seventh in points in 2012, which marked the first time since 2006 he had not won more than one race.
Franchitti is off to a slow start this season with two 25th-place finishes.
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