This season so far for Dario Franchitti has gone great, even despite the bad luck that he had at Indianapolis. Going into the Honda Indy in Toronto, Franchitti sits first in points, 20 points ahead of Will Power with three wins this year. The Ganassi Racing driver from Scotland is ready to do battle on the Exhibition Place temporary-street course, where he won in 2009 and finished second last year to Power.
[media-credit name=”hondaindytoronto.com” align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]Before the cars took the track on Friday for practice, Franchitti answered some questions about the season so far and more.
Ashley McCubbin: How’d you originally get with Chip?
Dario Franchitti: Well, Chip and I talked for a number of years about doing a deal, going back as far as 2001. We never got anything down, until we started talking about the deal in NASCAR with him back in 2007. Luckily for me, that didn’t happen. Then after winning the 500 and the championship in 2007, he asked me to come run with him in Nationwide, which I did for six months. That didn’t go according to plan, so he asked me at that point to come and drive for him for the IndyCar team so that was a very fortunate situation for me to go away from IndyCar Series and come back with Team Target.
AM: What are some of your thoughts on the season?
DF: The season is in a lot way has been good with the three wins so far and with the championship lead, [but still as a team, we’re looking at Indianapolis; we’re still upset with the missed opportunity. I felt that myself, Scott or I should’ve won that. Indy was quite a tough one this year.
AM: What are some of your thoughts on having the points lead this early?
DF: Its nice to have the points total, but having the points lead at the end of the season is what counts. We have done well like I said, but we gotta keep scoring those points and keeping winning those races for me. Right now, its about trying to win whatever race we’re doing and then the points will take care of themselves.
AM: What are some of your thoughts heading into Toronto?
DF: Toronto’s a difficult track, there’s no doubt it’s a challenge. It’s very bumpy, which is part of the charm of the place, very narrow, the brakes are punished pretty hard and its got the new restarts for the first time. It’s going to be an interesting weekend. I love coming to race in Canada. Hopefully I can have a good result here.
AM: Having driven the Rolex Sports Cars and in NASCAR, what are some of the biggest differences that you’ve seen in comparison to the IndyCar?
DF: Well, IndyCar is a different. I’ve driven the Champ Cars of the late generation to the current IndyCar, then the American Lemans Series Grand Am, then NASCAR. The way I would explain it is the IndyCar is one extreme of performance with acceleration and power-wise, the Grand-Am is somewhere in the middle, and then you have the dirt car, with lots of power and no grip. Each one is a little different, requires a different driving style and also skills, so that’s why you see some guys are good in one form of racing, but not another.
AM: What are some of your thoughts on the new IndyCar coming in 2012?
DF: Well, the new car is very new right now because we’re seeing some examples, which are very much concept cars. Nobody has really seen what they’re actually going to look like so we’re waiting to see what they’re going to come up with. I’m very excited that we’re going to have multiple engine manufactures next year with Chevy, Lotus and certainly Honda. I’d like to see the body kit as well. I think the car is going to be great for the series. This car has been great, but to have something new, we’re all excited about it.
AM: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in racing?
DF: I think you learn something in racing every week. It’s just like life; I think you learn something new in life everyday. I think you’re on an accelerated course in racing. It’s just like normal life, but more in the extreme sense so there’s not just one thing. There’s probably a lot of things I’ve learned.
AM: What’s your most memorable win?
DF: I think one of the wins at Indianapolis is got to be pretty memorable. I think the first one at Indy was really special, but the second one felt really good too.