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
2016 Indy 500 Logo
 
IMS Offers Special Ticket Discounts for 2016 Indianapolis 500 Fans
As a thank you to the greatest race fans in the world, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is offering special pricing for selected days for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on Sunday, May 29, 2016.
Read More
Juan Pablo Montoya
 
Montoya Earns $2.4 Million for Winning 99th Indianapolis 500
Juan Pablo Montoya earned $2,449,055 from an overall purse of $13,397,315 for his victory Sunday, May 24, in the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Read More
Juan Pablo Montoya
 
Monday Racing Roundup: Montoya Wins Thrilling Indianapolis 500
Montoya, who won the race 15 years earlier in his first start, held off reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion and teammate Will Power by .1046 of a second -- the fourth-closest finish in race history -- in a thrilling battle over the final 15 laps that also included pole sitter and 2008 race winner Scott Dixon. Five of the 37 lead changes occurred in those 15 laps following a restart, with Montoya overtaking Dixon in Turn 1 for second place and Power in Turn 4 to lead Lap 197 by .0420 of a second.
Read More
Charlie Kimball
 
Kimball Surprises as Ganassi's Top Fighter in '500'
Kimball had never finished better than eighth in four previous Indy 500 starts, but when Dixon faltered late due to an understeer, the door was open for third place. Kimball took advantage of Dixon lifting off the throttle with two laps to go.
Read More
Juan Montoya
 
Montoya Wins 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race
Juan Pablo Montoya drove his No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet to victory Sunday in the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 1,940
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
Did you miss the #Indy500? You missed one heck of a race. Get the highlights here: https://t.co/r667r3DvNi
about 43 minutes ago