Franchitti toughs it out on Nascar return

Bathgate’s Dario Franchitti returned to Nascar action and despite having problems with his Ganassi Dodge finished 15th to extend his lead in the race for the rookie of the year title.

But the 35-year-old, who fractured his left ankle in a 180mph crash at Talladega five weeks ago, admitted to finding the going tough as he battled with the leaders at the Dover International Speedway one-mile oval.

“It was hard, it was really hard,” the Scot, who started 26th on the 44-car grid, explained today. “We dropped off the lead lap but then managed to get it back through good strategy and pace.

“But the we had to make another unscheduled stop when we discovered we had a loose left rear wheel. By the time I got going again the leader was on my bumper.

“The fact that I was able to pull away from him in that last 20 laps made me feel very happy. It proved my fitness is back and that the car had the pace. The car was good but it’s just tough in traffic getting all the aerodynamic pressures working for you.”

The race was won by American Denny  Hamlin who notched his second Nationwide Series victory of the season. Franchitti is next in action in this weekend’s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Pocono.


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