Honda Racing– Sonoma

Franchitti Finishes Third in Sonoma
Indianapolis 500 champion Dario Franchitti led the way for Honda in Sunday’s GoPro Indy Grand Prix of
Sonoma, putting pressure on IZOD IndyCar Series leader Will Power and eventual race winner Ryan
Briscoe throughout the final laps of Sunday’s race as he finished third in his Target Chip Ganassi Racing
Honda Dallara.
Starting sixth, Franchitti avoided an opening lap incident that saw his teammate, Scott Dixon, spin out
after contact from Helio Castroneves. Starting the race on the harder “black compound” Firestone tires,
Franchitti was able to switch to the better gripping “reds” at his first scheduled pit stop, and he ran near
the front of the field for the remainder of the 85-lap contest. A pair of late-race caution periods allowed
him to challenge Power for second place, but the four-time series champion was never able to attempt a
Behind Franchitti, Graham Rahal had one of his strongest runs this season to finish fifth for Service
Central Chip Ganassi Racing, while seventh for Simon Pagenaud clinched IndyCar Rookie of the Year
honors for the Schmidt Hamilton Racing driver. Charlie Kimball also had a strong run, moving from 21st
on the starting grid to 11th place by Lap 66, the biggest gain of any driver. But a late race transmission
problem dropped him three laps off the pace, resulting in an unrepresentative 21st-place finish.
Honda’s popular Fastest Seat in Sports sweepstakes returned at Sonoma, with racing legend Mario