Dario Franchitti clinches second IndyCar title

Pete Mait

In the finale of the IndyCar Series in Miami, Scotsman Dario Franchitti not only won the race but also wrapped up the championship. Living up to the national reputation for thrift, the ex-Formula One driver nursed his fuel tank through to the finish line in the Indy 300 in Miami to clinch his second championship title in the IndyCar series since 2007. Franchitti took the final chequered flag of the season 4.78 seconds ahead of reigning champion Ryan Briscoe from Australia and New Zealander Scott Dixon.

Ten laps from the end, Briscoe had built up a lead of 0.6 seconds on Dixon and an even bigger one of 24.2 seconds on Franchitti. The Scotsman eased back on the throttle and hoped that his strategy would pay off. And his prayers were answered because, for the first time in the whole season, the race finished without a single yellow flag period. A situation unheard of since 1997. Dixon had to refuel on lap 191, with Briscoe pitting two laps later. This opened the way for Franchitti who cruised to victory over the last few laps with a comfortable 6-second margin. After emptying the remainder of his tank by performing a few donuts, the new champion was pushed into Victory Lane by his jubilant pit crew. "I remember the final race of the 2007 when I also won the title by eking out my fuel towards the end," said Franchitti with a huge grin as he revealed the secret of his success.