News & Multimedia

Franchitti Enjoys New Experience at '500'

Dario Franchitti led the field across the Yard of Bricks to win the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race three times. For the 98th edition of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” he led the field to the green flag for the first time.

Franchitti, who retired last November from Verizon IndyCar Series competition, was the honorary Pace Car driver May 25. It was at a considerably slower pace than he was accustomed in 10th starts in the “500,” but exhilarating in the Chevrolet Camaro Z28 nonetheless.

“Because my job was always to block out whatever was going on and to focus on the race, this year I'm going to be able to soak it all in and I'm really looking forward to that actually,” Franchitti said.

“The rest of the month has been great because I'm fairly at peace with the fact I'm not in the car. I also realize that I'm not sure I would have the commitment level anymore to do what's required here, or any track. It's a certain mind-set you've got to have. The crazy things that you saw the guys do on the Fast Nine (Shootout) last Sunday (in qualifications) is normal for drivers. And it doesn't feel normal for me anymore; therefore I shouldn't be a driver anymore.

“So I'm enjoying it a lot. I'm loving still working with the Target team. I'm loving being still around INDYCAR races and I'm loving driving the Pace Car, too. So it's a fun time.

“I was talking to JR Hildebrand and I had a long conversation with Will Power just about what you mentally go through this month. I've seen with it Scott (Dixon), see it with Tony (Kanaan), Charlie (Kimball) and Ryan (Briscoe) and obviously (rookie) Sage (Karam) this year. The pressure a driver is under in this race from the start of the month till the end is extraordinary. It really is it.

“And you see these guys and they all look kind of gaunt and they can get short-tempered, and I certainly did during the month. But the pressure I'm under is intense and I'm not under that pressure anymore.”

It’s the 25th time that a Chevrolet has paced the field, beginning with three-time Indy 500 winner Wilbur Shaw in 1948, and the eighth time a Camaro has been utilized. Twenty-four hours before the race, Franchitti toured the 2.5-mile oval with his mother and father in the Camaro.

“We did three laps. So she was having a great time,” he said. “I think my dad was a little -- I think it was close to his threshold of what he wanted to experience on the second lap. He was quite happy. So that was great. It was really so much fun, too, anytime you get to drive around here.”
 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Franchitti Enjoys New Experience at '500'
 
Franchitti Enjoys New Experience at '500'
Dario Franchitti led the field across the Yard of Bricks to win the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race three times. For the 98th edition of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” he led the field to the green flag for the first time.
Read More
Related Media
EV Grand Prix
 
Students Competing in Race for Knowledge during Three Events in May at IMS
The Greatest Month in Racing is packed with competition during May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but it’s not just for the Verizon IndyCar Series and the Mazda Road to Indy ladder series.
Read More
Kyle Larson, Valentino Rossi, Lewis Hamilton
 
Who's Next? Drivers We'd Like To See Follow Alonso's Lead To Race at Indy
The buzz over Fernando Alonso’s decision to skip the Monaco Grand Prix and race in the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on May 28 continues to grow, especially as two-time Formula One World Champion Alonso prepares for his first oval test Wednesday, May 3 at IMS.
Read More
IMS Crowd
 
IMS Seating To Be Smoke-Free Beginning in October 2017
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced today that its grandstands will be entirely smoke-free beginning with the 2017 Red Bull Air Race. In addition, leading up to the Air Race, the track will provide limited smoke-free family grandstands at select Month of May events and at the Brickyard 400.
Read More
Fashon Friday
 
Indy 500 Fans: Show Greatest Wardrobe in Racing on #500FashionFridays
Indianapolis 500 fans are encouraged to show their pride for the world's greatest race every Friday in the celebratory Month of May 2017 by wearing black, white and checkers to work, school and leisure activities.
Read More
Fernando Alonso
 
Alonso Begins Indy 500 Learning Process with Visit To Barber
If nothing more can be gleaned from Fernando Alonso’s visit today to Barber Motorsports Park – and his plan to race in the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on May 28 – it’s that racers share one goal: to be faster than the rest, no matter the car or venue.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 1,355
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
Have you gotten your #indywings? Snap a pic w/ installations in Fountain Square, Broadripple or Irvington & share w… https://t.co/EJ2B5OnxtT
about 16 minutes ago