- Associated Press - Monday, May 28, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Dario Franchitti’s first win at Indianapolis, in 2007, made him more than just Ashley Judd’s husband.

His second win, in 2010, was about pure dominance _ he led 155 of the 200 laps.

This year’s victory was about standing among the all-time greats. He earned $2,474,280 from an overall purse of $13,285,815 for Sunday’s win. The four-time series champion from Scotland became just the 10th driver to win IndyCar’s signature event at least three times.

Helio Castroneves, the only other current driver with three wins at Indy, already was promoting next year’s race.

Dario, well done, man,” Castroneves said Monday during the victory awards celebration at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “Three times. Now, we’re going to be racing, so who gets four? That’ll be cool, huh? That’ll be really cool.”

Now that Franchitti has basically done it all, there’s only one thing left.


Castroneves won `Dancing with the Stars,’ so a few of the drivers had a little fun with Franchitti now that he’s joined Castroneves as a three-time winner.

“Three times,” Alex Tagliani said. “I think the drivers think you need to step it up. We think if you come and try to do it four times, you should try `Dancing with the Stars.’ I think that’s the only thing you can try to do to step it up.”

Castroneves continued the joke.

“You want to do it? I know the people. I have people,” he said as Judd gave the cutoff sign.

Franchitti prefers to let his car do the dancing. He started 16th, took the lead for good in the No. 50 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda car from his teammate, Scott Dixon, on lap 199. He overcame a spirited passing attempt by Takuma Sato in turn 1 on the final lap. Sato spun and hit the SAFER Barrier while Franchitti hung on to win the race under caution.

Sato explained the reasoning behind his aggressive inside move.

“There’s only one podium, which is the winner,” Sato said matter-of-factly.

Sato joked that Franchitti wouldn’t want to see the No. 15 car next to him in the future.

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