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
Kyle Busch
 
Kyle Busch to Defend Title From the Pole on Sunday
Kyle Busch, last year’s winner at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, will start from the pole for his title defense on Sunday at the Crown Royal presents the Combat Wounded Warriors 400 at the Brickyard.
Read More
Cassadee Pope
 
Chart-Topping Country Star Cassadee Pope to Sing National Anthem at the Crown Royal presents the Combat Wounded Coalition 400 at the Brickyard
ward-winning country music artist Cassadee Pope will sing the national anthem at Sunday’s Crown Royal presents the Combat Wounded Coalition 400 at the Brickyard.
Read More
Jimmie Johnson
 
Brickyard Hopefully The Elixir for Struggling Hendrick Motorsports
That’s what happens when an entire four-car team synonymous with NASCAR success sputters in an improbable slump. Owner Rick Hendrick’s four cars have failed to finish in the top 10 in the past three races entering Sunday’s Crown Royal presents the Combat Wounded Coalition 400 at the Brickyard.
Read More
Matt Kenseth
 
Always-Contending Kenseth Still Looking for Brickyard Breakthrough
When reviewing Matt Kenseth’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series accomplishments, he’s celebrated a championship in 2003, won the Daytona 500 twice and his 38 career victories include wins in the Coca-Cola 600 and Southern 500.
Read More
Kyle Busch
 
More Downforce, Less Drag Hopefully a Recipe for Racier 400
An aerodynamic package with more downforce and less drag than last year was used during last week’s testing in preparation for Sunday’s Crown Royal presents the Combat Wounded Coalition 400 at the Brickyard.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 2,282
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
@Jschieb48 wow! That is a pretty fabulous alternative!
about 5 minutes ago