Race Report: Indianapolis 500 2012

Dario Franchitti

Dario Franchitti came from the rear of the field to take the win in a dramatic Indy 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The Scot spent the late laps trading the lead with Ganassi team-mate Scott Dixon, but Takuma Sato (Rahal Letterman Lanigan) managed to get between the pair with two laps to go and lined Franchitti up for a passing attempt.

Sato managed to get alongside Franchitti in the first corner of the final lap, but did not allow himself enough space and bounced off the Ganassi car and into the wall, bringing out the yellows and allowing Franchitti an unchallenged run to the finish.

Franchitti only took the lead for the first time on lap 151 after having to fight his way back from last place following an incident in pitlane during his first stop, when he was hit from behind by KV Racing’s EJ Viso and spun while approaching his pit box.

It is Franchitti’s third Indy 500 win, and the first win this season for Ganassi and engine supplier Honda.

Dixon finished second for a Ganassi one-two, with KV’s Tony Kanaan third and first of the Chevrolet-powered runners. The Brazilian had led during the final caution, but was jumped by the Ganassi pair on the restart.

The race broke the record for the most lead changes in Indy 500 history as drivers took advantage of the tows created by the new DW12 chassis, first place changing hands 35 times.

A number of drivers suffered an early end to their afternoon due to mechanical problems or contact with the wall, including Andretti Autosport’s Marco Andretti, who crashed out of eighth place with 12 laps to go and brought out the final caution.

The only multi-car incident was triggered by AJ Foyt’s Mike Conway, who spun and collected championship leader Will Power (Penske). Conway had just returned to the track after a disastrous pitstop in which he hit two of his pit crew, reportedly leaving him with front wing damage that was not repaired before the Briton was sent back out onto the track.

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