- The Washington Times - Monday, August 24, 2009

From combined dispatches

SONOMA, Calif. | Dario Franchitti finally won at Infineon Raceway, leading from start to finish to capture his first Sonoma Grand Prix on Sunday in the final road course race of the year.

Franchitti captured the pole and led all 75 laps, topping runner-up and new points leader Ryan Briscoe on the way to his fourth victory of the year. Franchitti and Briscoe avoided a multiple-car crash early in Lap 1 on the tough 12-turn, 2.303-mile road course. Scott Dixon, the points leader coming in and Franchitti’s teammate with Target Chip Ganassi Racing, finished a disappointing 14th after stalling in the wreck. He fell into third place in the points race.

At least seven cars crashed in an accident heading into Turn 2 of the race, including 2007 Sonoma champion Dixon after he started 10th. There’s a quick 104-foot elevation gain from the starting line to Turn 2. Debris was strewn all over the track.

Patrick close to deal?

SONOMA, Calif. | Owner Michael Andretti is confident Andretti-Green Racing will re-sign Danica Patrick - perhaps soon.

Andretti says the sides are “close,” and the owner gave Patrick a big hug and best wishes moments before the start of Sunday’s 75-lap Sonoma Grand Prix at Infineon Raceway, the final road course event of the year.

Barrichello ends drought

VALENCIA, Spain | Brawn GP’s Rubens Barrichello won the European Grand Prix to claim his first Formula One victory in five years.

The 37-year-old Brazilian took advantage of a costly pit-stop error by Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren team to record his 10th career win - his first since the 2004 Chinese Grand Prix - and boost his championship hopes.

Massa to have tests

SAO PAULO, Brazil | Formula One driver Felipe Massa will travel to the United States on Friday to undergo tests with a doctor renowned for treating injured race car drivers.

Massa, recovering from life-threatening injuries from a crash in his Ferrari at the Hungarian Grand Prix nearly a month ago, said Sunday he will go to Miami to meet Dr. Steve Olvey, a former medical director for CART and a specialist in racing injuries.

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