Just three races into his IndyCar comeback, Bathgate’s Dario Franchitti returned to winning ways when he dominated the Grand Prix of Long Beach in California. The 35-year-old Scot comfortably won by 3.3182secs from Penske’s Will Power.
“It’s a fantastic way to start the season,” Franchitti, who returned to IndyCars with Chip Ganassi Racing after an unsuccessful season in Nascar last year, said today. “Fourth in the opening round of the championship and now a first win of the season; it’s great.
“When I left IndyCar at the end of 2007 having won the championship, I certainly didn’t expect to be coming back, but I’m bloody glad I did. The time away showed me what I was missing.
“With unification between IndyCars and Champ Cars, it all added up. Had I stayed in Nascar, I’m not sure what kind of a job I could have been able to do. Things have worked out very well.”
Franchitti, who started from the front row of the grid, used sharp strategy to get ahead of poleman Power and then controlled the second half of the race, moving into the points lead in the process.
“Out pit guys did a fantastic job today and every call we made worked out perfectly for us,” Franchitti, who now leads the championship by 15 points from Power, continued. “Now we have to try and maintain this momentum at Kansas this weekend.”