Franchitti Starts Season Strong
Dave Lewandowski, IndyCar.com
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- There are multiple advantages to starting on the front row on IZOD IndyCar Series road/street courses. In the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, one was avoiding the seven-car blockade in Turn 1 of the first lap.
Dario Franchitti and pole sitter Will Power were among those who kept their cars' noses clean at the start and subsequent side-by-side restarts through 100 laps on the 1.8-mile, 14-turn street circuit by the bay, and that's they way they completed the season opener.
Franchitti made a strong start in his bid for a third consecutive series championship (only two others in Indy car history have accomplished it) by running away from Power and the remnants of the 24-car field to win for the first time at St. Pete. He collected two bonus points to the 50 for the victory by leading the most laps (94).
"You see how close the field is, so every point matters," said Franchitti, who tied three-time Indianapolis 500 champion Johnny Rutherford for 10th all time on the Indy car list with 27 victories. "I had better watch out for the pace car because J.R. might be taking me out not wanting me to get 28."
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