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Franchitti has dominant win in IndyCar Series race

LONG BEACH, Calif. – One thing Dario Franchitti and team owner Chip Ganassi have in common is that both hate to lose.

It wasn’t easy for either one of them to accept the failure last summer when a lack of sponsorship forced Ganassi to shut down Franchitti’s Sprint Cup team in the former IndyCar Series champion’s abortive move to NASCAR.

“For both of us, that was very tough to swallow because we’re used to such success,” Franchitti said Sunday after giving Ganassi his fifth victory in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, but first since 1999.

“Chip lost an awful lot of money last year, I lost my drive and a bunch of people lost their jobs. So I don’t think it was easy on anybody.”

The win in only his second race back in IndyCar, and only his second race driving an open-wheel car for Target Chip Ganassi Racing, was a big moment for both. As Franchitti was interviewed after getting out of his car, a beaming Ganassi walked up, hugged his newest driver and said, “Sweet.”

It was all he had to say.

Franchitti said he felt as if the seaside circuit in downtown Long Beach owed him after finishing second to Ganassi drivers Alex Zanardi (1998) and Juan Pablo Montoya (1999) during his days in the now-defunct CART series.

“Yeah, the Target cars do have a great history here,” Franchitti said. “I remember distinctly following that Target (logo) on the rear wing, so it’s nice to be on the other end of that today and get the job done. And it feels great to win again in the IndyCar Series.”

Franchitti dominated this time, beating runner-up Will Power, the pole-winner, by 3.318 seconds – half of the final straightaway.

“That was a lot of fun,” said Franchitti, who dedicated his ninth IndyCar victory to actress wife Ashley Judd, who celebrated her 41st birthday watching the race from the Target Chip Ganassi Racing pits.

Judd said, “With about 25 laps to go, I got really nervous and I said to myself, ‘This is the Target Chip Ganassi team. Winning is what they do.’ So I was able to calm down a little. I’m just so happy for him.”

Helio Castroneves, who got back in his Team Penske car Saturday after being acquitted of federal tax evasion charges, started eighth and finished seventh.

“I’m so happy to be back,” said the Brazilian, who even led a handful of laps despite not even driving a race car for the past six months. “I thought I was going to be really tired, but I’m ready for the next race. I was sore this morning. My muscles were hurting. But this is what I love and I’m so glad to be back.”

Formula One

SHANGHAI – Sebastian Vettel won the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday, giving Red Bull its first ever race win.

Racing in a steady downpour, Vettel beat teammate Mark Webber by 10.9 seconds.

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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