The end is near

Posted by Iannucci | 10/02/2007 | 8 comments »
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The press release from Andretti Green reads simply "Andretti Green Racing announced today it has released Dario Franchitti from his driver agreement. The team's agreement with Franchitti was set to expire later this year."

Not Indianapolis 500 champion, not 2007 IndyCar series champion - just plain old Dario Franchitti. After nearly a decade of service with Barry Green it's pretty much "Thks fr the Mmrs". The Associated Press picks it up from there.

Dario Franchitti's much-anticipated move to stock cars will begin Friday with an ARCA race at Talladega Superspeedway, the Associated Press has learned.

The 2007 Indy 500 winner and IndyCar Series champion has agreed to a multiyear deal to replace David Stremme in the No. 40 Dodge for NASCAR's Chip Ganassi Racing, according to a person familiar with the negotiations who requested anonymity because the deal had yet to be announced.

An official announcement is expected Wednesday at Ganassi's race shop in North Carolina.
Clearly they have been speaking with Dario's father George (I'm least I think I'm kidding.) Stay tuned for official announcements on Wednesday.


  1. Bash // October 02, 2007 10:45 PM  

    Man. I really don't like this if it means no Dario in the IRL, which looks pretty likely. I just don't like it...

  2. Anonymous // October 03, 2007 4:59 AM  

    Hmm, let me see. The choices were, leave or stay around to get thrown under the bus again whenever Mikey feels like it. We may not like the leaving-the-IRL part, but boy, who can blame him for wanting to get out of that one-big-happy disfunctional team?

  3. Dale Nixon // October 03, 2007 5:25 AM  

    The continuity of Dario with that team is really unmatched in open-wheel racing - he's been with them since a (pre-Mikey) 1998...I think we've also figured out how the team got him to return this year when they lost the big bump Honda was paying in driver salaries; they just paid it through the ALMS program.

  4. mmack // October 03, 2007 10:51 AM  


    You know, the IRL isn't the only series losing drivers to the tin tops:

    "Another Canadian Champ Car World Series star is being groomed to join the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series next season, Sun Media has been told.

    According to several sources, Alex Tagliani is expected to join Dave Jacombs Racing --the team that won the series championship this year with Andrew Ranger.

    Ranger jumped to NASCAR from Champ Car this past season and said that it was the best move he's made in his racing career, winning the NCATS title in his first stock car season.

    Ranger, who raced for two seasons in Champ Car, is now poised to move up to the Craftsman Truck Series and compete in several Busch Series races next season.

    A source close to the Jacombs No. 27 Tide/Wal-Mart Ford squad said after the series finale at Kawartha Speedway that the team was in discussions with another Champ Car driver for the 2008 season.

    Tagliani already has some experience with the series, and with the team, having run the No. 8 Jacombs Chevrolet at the NCATS NAPA 100 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and at the Grand Prix of Trois- Rivieres this past season.

    Tagliani also shares agents -- Alan Labrosse -- with Ranger and is said to have become disenchanted with Champ Car in a frustrating 2007 season."

    The best part of all this are the stories on the internets about Mr. Tagliani not getting PAID by his Champ Car team owner. That would be Mr. Paul Gentilozzi, one of the three OWNERS of CART/OWRS/CCWS/We'll gladly pay you Tuesday for driving our race car today.

  5. Jeff Iannucci // October 03, 2007 10:52 AM  

    Just for clarification, I meant the end of Dario's IndyCar career is near - not the end of IndyCar itself.

  6. mmack // October 03, 2007 11:41 AM  


    I know. The IRL will still be here next year. I was just pointing out that the IRL wasn't the only open wheel series having problems keeping drivers.

    As to whether that other series answers the bell in 2008, that's still up in the air.

    Latest nasty rumor: Newman\Haas\Lanigan leaves to go to the IRL, sans Paul Newman. Wild rumor says Haas Lanigan already has the Dallara chassis. Even wilder rumor has Haas Lanigan merging with Rahal Letterman Racing.

    All rumors, and take 'em with a grain of salt, but CDW leaving started as a rumor. . .

  7. Jeff Iannucci // October 03, 2007 11:45 AM  

    Having both Dario and Sam would be noteworthy, but consider that no other drivers of note has left the series in recent years. This may be an outbreak, but it's certainly not an epidemic. Yet.

    I've heard talk of an NHL IndyCar team with Scott Sharp as well, but I've got nothing substantial to confirm it so I haven't written about it. But yes, it's out there. And that would definitely be extra large news.

  8. john clerk // October 03, 2007 5:17 PM  

    I'm going to miss Ashely's hats, and her post-race interviews. You have to admit, they had character, they had drama, they had it all! =)