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Monday, 23 July, 2001, 15:27 GMT 16:27 UK
Franchitti falls victim to team tactics
Dario Franchitti plans on having a 'word' with one of his Cart rivals after controversially being denied the lead in the FedEx Championship series.
Scotsman Franchitti, who started last, placed second in Sunday's Harrah's 500 at the Michigan International Speedway after missing out in a dramatic finish as race winner Patrick Carpentier benefited from team tactics.
The Edinburgh-born racer snatched the lead on the 250th and last lap from Mexican Michel Jourdain of the Herdez Bettenhausen team.
But Carpentier's Forsythe Racing team-mate, Alex Tagliani, who was one lap down, took a pull from the three drivers ahead of him and moved to the front.
Tagliani then moved in front of Carpentier as the trio came off the final turn and allowed the Canadian to draft across the finish line 0.243 of a second ahead of his two rivals.
It gave Carpentier the first victory of his Cart career in his 79th race.
Florida-based Franchitti finished in a virtual dead heat for second place and was awarded the runners-up spot in a photo-finish.
"It's unfortunate that Tagliani got up there, not to take anything away from Pat" said the Team KOOL Green driver.
"I'm going to have a word with 'Tag', he and Pat had a pretty well-choreographed move."
"Michel and I were doing a good job of getting away from the others a bit, and I knew if it was just Michel and I on the last lap, I could probably pass him.
"But with Tagliani in the equation, it changed things," said Franchitti who was generous in defeat.
"I feel great for Pat, we started the series at the same time and it's great to see him up here.
"It was an eventful day. For the first time in my career I started last because of the way they decided qualifying. I was really lucky to not go a lap down.
"It's not last to first, but last to second isn't too bad, and we picked up some good points."
Franchitti, who has been linked with an eventual switch to F1, has now finished on the podium in three of his last five races, including a victory in Cleveland, and will look to continue his mid-season surge to the top in Chicago.
But Franchitti, who lost the 1999 title on countback to Formula One driver Juan Pablo Montoya, lies just three points behind series leader Kenny Brack of Sweden.
Brack crashed following a blunder with team-mate Max Papis.
Brack and Papis took the lead together after 147 laps but their cars touched on lap 232, and both Bobby Rahal entries crashed into the wall.
Results from the Michigan International Speedway:
1, Patrick Carpentier (Canada), Ford-Cosworth/Reynard, 250 laps
2, Dario Franchitti (Britain), Honda/Reynard, 250
3, Michel Jourdain Jr. (Mexico), Ford-Cosworth/Lola, 250
4, Cristiano da Matta (Brazil), Toyota/Lola, 250
5, Bryan Herta, Ford-Cosworth/Reynard, 250
6, Alex Tagliani (Canada), Ford-Cosworth/Reynard, 249
7, Paul Tracy (Canada), Honda/Reynard, 249
8, Helio Castroneves (Brazil), Honda/Reynard, 249
9, Bruno Junqueira (Brazil), Toyota/Lola, 249
10, Scott Dixon (New Zealand), Toyota/Reynard, 248
11, Oriol Servia (Spain), Ford-Cosworth/Lola, 248
12, Roberto Moreno (Brazil), Toyota/Reynard, 248
13, Toranosuke Takagi (Japan), Toyota/Reynard, 248
14, Memo Gidley (Mexico), Toyota/Lola, 246
15, Mauricio Gugelmin (Brazil), Toyota/Reynard, 246
16, Max Papis (Italy), Ford-Cosworth/Lola, contact
17, Kenny Brack (Sweden), Ford-Cosworth/Lola, contact
18, Christian Fittipaldi (Brazil), Toyota/Lola, contact
19, Michael Andretti, Honda/Reynard, mechanical
20, Alex Zanardi (Italy), Honda/Reynard, electrical
21, Tony Kanaan (Brazil), Honda/Reynard, electrical
22, Shinji Nakano (Japan), Honda/Reynard, mechanical
23, Jimmy Vasser, Toyota/Reynard, mechanical
24, Gil de Ferran (France), Honda/Reynard, electrical
25, Adrian Fernandez (Mexico), Honda/Reynard, mechanical.
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