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The 2010 Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio

By D. Brian Smith
Photography: Ben Moment


Before Sunday’s IRL Indy 200, Scotsman Dario Franchitti had never savored victory at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, in Lexington, Ohio. Now, it’s yet another win nick for his illustrious racing, open-wheel and Indy Racing League career. Since Flying Scotsman is already taken, The Speedy Scot is an apt moniker for Mr. Franchitti.

High Dynamic Range is a digital photography method that’s usually applied to a still image to bring out all the details from a non-moving photograph. Our ace photographer reverse engineers a moving photograph and divides the shot into nine different exposures to bring out all the details. If you look closely enough, you’ll see that Danica is giving us a thankful wink for a job well done.

Danica’s Go Daddy car can also look like an oil painting or a watercolor, depending upon the digital art post production process that our ace shooter applies to the photography. Can you appreciate it? We know you do.

His wins in open-wheel racing are impressive, with 25 career victories, 15 of which are in the IndyCar series and two first place 2010 IRL finishes. At 41 points behind the 2010 IRL series lead, Dario is following Will Power for the 2010 title and is 41 points ahead of Scott Dixon. Ryan Briscoe is in fourth place at 109 points behind Mr. Power.

Will Power and Dario were battling for the checkered flag through most of the competition. The victory for Franchitti came down to a couple extremely efficient pit stop from his pit technicians.

When he came into the pits under yellow on lap 25, Dario received new tires and 22 gallons of ethanol, achieving a quicker stop than Power. Then on lap 60 while driving in the green condition, Franchitti running 1st and Power in 2nd both came in. Once again, Dario’s team came through with a tad faster stop. From there on, the Target Chip Ganassi led the rest of the event. Will tried everything in his considerable bag of racing ace tricks to wrest the lead away from Dario, but The Speedy Scot’s also a wily veteran, and he was having none of it.

The Chip Ganassi Racing Team had a seldom seen hat trick over the race weekend. His cars won in the Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series {with drivers Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas} and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series {Juan Pablo Montoya} at Watkins Glen International. As for Dario, he was ecstatic that he didn’t blow the trifecta for Ganassi’s other two series winners.

Remember, the Scotsman won the IndyCar title last year and with this 1st, there’s a numerical chance that he could earn the title in 2010. He certainly has an undue sum of skill and experience, with a talented crew to keep him running strong. But will he have karma on his side throughout the rest of the 2010 campaign? Some 12 years ago Dario qualified on the pole here. He’s been trying to win at Mid-Ohio every year and came through. Perhaps this good karma will continue the rest of the season. We’ll have to see how the drivers fare at the upcoming Grand Prix of Sonoma and the four remaining oval contests that close out the 2010 campaign.

Like the ALMS race at Mid-Ohio on Saturday, the Indy 200 race was scarily close, with just a bit over 0.533 seconds separating first and second. Every driver pretty much loves the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, as it’s technically challenging, offers high-speed straights and turns and demands perfection from racers, both in terms of their physical abilities and their mental acumen.

In reality, the real winners of any race at Mid-Ohio are the fans. The venue is state-of-the-art sublime and offers fans superior viewing views all-around the 1.96-mile course, all set in the pastoral splendor of Lexington, Ohio, which is considered God’s Country for farmers and automotive racing fans alike.

For information on next year’s Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, visit www.MidOhio.com. Also, check out the schedule of upcoming IndyCar races right here.

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