Bathgate’s Dario Franchitti turned his first pole position in the Nascar Nationwide Series into his best-ever finish, and but for an unfortunately badly-timed caution period the 35-year-old Scot might well have claimed his first victory at Watkins Glen, New York.
Instead Franchitti, whose Ganassi Sprint Cup Nascar team was disbanded following sponsorship problems, brought his Dodge home in fifth position having led the Zippo 200 for a number of laps.
“We were unfortunate with our last pitstop which came just before the day’s final caution period,” Franchitti explained. “We needed to come in for fuel and tyres but after the caution period we lost position on the track. It costs us a chance to fight for the win.
“It’s just one of those deals with the way the cautions fell. We were at the other side of the track when the caution fell and we kind of got stuck back in the traffic a little.
“The top five is OK but I really felt with the pole today and the way the car was that we had a car capable of winning today.” The race was won by Aussie Marcos Ambrose. It was the Ford driver’s maiden Nascar victory.
Franchitti will be back in the Nationwide series next week at Michigan and then at Bristol before handing his drive to Bryan Clauson. The Scot will then return at Richmond next month.