Franchitti and wife Ashley Judd pose with the Borg Warner Trophy. (WIBC.com photo: Eric Berman)
Dario Franchitti's next opponent at the Speedway is Indy 500 history.
Franchitti's win Sunday makes him the 10th driver to win three Indianapolis 500s. Only Rick Mears, A.J. Foyt and Al Unser Senior have ever won four.
"Obviously I'd love to win another one, but look, let's enjoy this one first," Franchitti says.
Franchitti returned to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Monday morning wearing the white sunglasses associated with two-time Indy winner Dan Wheldon, Franchitti's close friend who died in a racing accident in Las Vegas last fall. Franchitti climbed back into the number-50 Target car for a two-hour round of photos at the Yard of Bricks, posing with fans, Honda and Firestone representatives, the Target/Chip Ganassi Racing team, and the Borg-Warner Trophy which already features two busts of Franchitti. Franchitti's wife, actress Ashley Judd, also ventured onto the track, both snapping and posing in photos with Franchitti and their two dogs.
Ganassi joined Franchitti for a few pictures, flashing three fingers for Franchitti's three wins. He says Franchitti has what it takes to win a fourth.
"He's still a student of the sport, and that's what you have to be," Ganassi says. "He's not an old dog afraid to learn new tricks."
Franchitti acknowledges he lost a few opportunities to win Indy to the IRL-CART divorce. But he notes his timing was better than drivers like Greg Moore and Alex Zanardi who never got to race at Indy at all.
Franchitti also lost one year at Indy to an ill-fated detour into NASCAR, a year he says made him appreciate how much he loves Indy cars.
Franchitti won't be the only driver angling to join the four-time winners' club next year. Helio Castroneves notched his third win in 2009 and finished 10th this year.
Franchitti is older than Foyt, Mears and Unser were when they won their third races, but will return next year younger than Foyt and Unser were when they captured their fourth. Castroneves is younger than all three were when they won for the fourth time.
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