A Star is Born

Posted by Iannucci | 8/08/2007 | 4 comments »
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After years of toiling away in the shadows of his owner, his teammates, and of course his famous wife, it would seem that this magical summer of Dario Franchitti will continue no matter what his results on the track are. Witness the zillion or so news stories about the reigning Indy 500 champion, most of course relating to his impromptu aerobatic maneuvers this past Sunday.

Now it's all Franchitti, all the time. Welcome to the limelight, bruthah. Here's a sample the Daily Dario.

First off, Autosport reports that Dario is now an even bigger fan of Dallaras.

"Mr Dallara is a personal friend of mine, and I've always been a fan of his," the Andretti Green driver added. "He has given us fast car that are very strong as well.
"It is because of that car that I'm sitting here with just a bruise on my nose. It's incredible."

Crash.net informs us that Dario had been seeking that car for his personal collection, and Michael Andretti may have the one-liner of the year.

Despite the AGR operation having several chassis to work with during the season, it opted not to retire the car that the Scot took to victory in May's Indianapolis 500 and, yes you guessed it, that was the machine that he took flight in during Sunday's incident-filled Firestone Indy 400.

Team co-owner Michael Andretti showed quick wit - and surprising sang-froid - following the accident, which also accounted for several other drivers, including race leader Dan Wheldon.

"You can have it now," Andretti told Franchitti.

Franchitti’s friend and fellow driver Allan McNish discusses the finer points of being Scottish in the Detroit Free Press.

Do Scotsmen climb fences, like Brazilian Helio Castroneves, the Indy car and ALMS star, after winning?

"We might have a nip of the stuff Scotland is famous for," McNish said. "We'll have a wee shindig, for sure."

Across the pond, The Daily Mail tells of how Dario is planning to speak with Not So Well Done, setting up a new “Battle of Britain”. Can we get these people to do ICS event marketing?

"I know he said afterwards that it was probably both our faults but I don't buy that now. I think he made a mistake. In my opinion, Dan came up into me. After that all hell broke lose.
They also have some pics of the crash with fun subtitles such as “takes in all the surroundings”. Cheeky.

The braintrust at TrackSide Online ponder whether the crash will cause Dario to reconsider his IndyCar career. What, and miss all this fun? Come on.

Meanwhile, the Defiance Crescent-News has the skinny on why Sam Hornish Jr was helping tip Dario’s ride back over. No, he wasn’t checking for top secret AGR parts.

"I've been upside-down before and I know that's a terrible feeling. Everyone was yelling to help flip his car over, I was there, I wasn't doing anything so I helped," added Hornish. "I wouldn't say I'm best friends with Dario, but I've never had any problems with him so why not help?"

Mike Harris of AP reports that Tomas Scheckter said of being behind Dario at launch that “It was maybe the scariest thing I've ever seen in my life.” I guess he didn’t see Harvey Keitel in “The Piano”.

The Toledo Blade (isn't that a hockey team?) has some quotes from Dario about NOT wanting to leave MIS.

“We’ve put on some great shows here,” series points leader Dario Franchitti said. “And I’m not talking about the crashes, because nobody wants that. I’m talking about the speed, and the side-by-side racing, the long runs and all of the passing and lead changes. Very few places can match the raw entertainment at this place.”

“It’s been a shame. There’s definitely a group of hard-core open wheel fans that come to this race. Whether it was when I was in Champ Car or since I’ve been here in IndyCar, I don’t know of many places where you put on a better show than you do here. So it’s a shame — that is all I can say about it.”
Who knew Dario was so Mindy. HEY!

And finally, we are told that after appearing on the CBS Morning News yesterday (wow - since when to they talk about IndyCars?) Dario will be chatting it up on Larry King Live tonight on CNN. ("Crashed race car on Sunday; Ashley Judd's husband")

Ah, see, he's still Mr Judd. Oh well. Thanks to reader Samantha for the heads up, and thanks to Dario for being EVERYWHERE.


  1. erika // August 08, 2007 12:47 PM  

    I'm still in complete awe that everyone walked away from that crash with minor, if any, injuries. HUGE props to Mr. Dallara, and to Brian Barnhardt and Tony George for making safety such a priority.

    My patience for Hornish is wearing thin. I'm already annoyed by his attitude this season, and now I read the quote that he helped turn over Dario's car because he's "never had any problems with him." So he wouldn't have helped if he didn't care for the driver?

  2. pressdog // August 08, 2007 1:05 PM  

    All of this starts with the fact that Dario is a right-sexy wee bastard.

  3. john c // August 08, 2007 2:23 PM  

    Erika: Ditto about Hornish...

    Dario is getting more press out of the accident than his Indy victory.

    As much as I see this as a golden opportunity to attract more fans Indy Cars, especially in the wake of what I perceive to be a waning interest in NASCAR, I'd just as soon not see anyone flipping anymore this year.

  4. Carrie // August 09, 2007 8:05 AM  

    I wanted to give that right-sexy wee bastard a hug when he said he had to turn away and not watch Jake Brown's free-fall. Who knew he was so sensitive?