Sunday, July 1, 2007
Franchitti Dominating Indy Racing League
Now that the 2007 IRL season is past the halfway point, it's becoming make or break time for the Penske and Target Ganassi teams, as the Andretti Green Racing bunch, lead by Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti, is on a serious role. He thoroughly dominated Richmond last night (who needs qualifying anyway, right?) and has won three of four starting with Indy. Kanaan and Patrick were also strong last night, while Dixon and Wheldon fought over second for Ganassi. Penske was nowhere to be found, beginning with Hornish's spin coming to the initial green flag and penalties on Helio later for passing violations. True to racer's form, Penske's guys didn't think Helio's "issues" were their fault and Dixon whined about Hornish holding him up late in the SunTrust Indy event at Richmond. Boo hoo.
So Watkins Glen is next, where Scott Dixon is two-time defending race winner. Marco won't have Cheever to contend with this year, and TK and Wheldon should be very strong. I've had the weekend off and can't get to the Glen, but I'll be at Nashville, Mid Ohio and Michigan for the next three races after that, so stay tuned for words and pix from those events. The season is in the balance over the next month and by the time the IRL has finished the Michigan 400, the championship may be all but decided unless Penske and Ganassi can mount a charge. Franchitti has had all the racer's luck lately and if that streak continues, he will be hard to beat. My guess is these next races will be hard fought affairs, although I don't expect a crash-fest like at Iowa. Most impressive to me the last couple of races have been Buddy Rice and Scott Sharp: maybe the Dreyer & Reinbold gang is getting it together and it looks like Sharp's tequila money has started to pay dividends for the Rahal Letterman team.
Come back soon boys & girls. See you at the track.