Dario Franchitti has backed Dan Wheldon to win the $5m GoDaddy jackpot in Las Vegas in the IndyCar finale.
Asked by RACER.com if he thought his former teammate was capable of starting last in the 34-car field – largest of the season (click here for separate story) – and finishing first in the IZOD INDYCAR World Championships presented by Honda, Franchitti immediately answered, “Yeah, absolutely. Dan is one of the best mile-and-a-half circuit drivers I know.”
Wheldon, who won this year's Indianapolis 500 for Bryan Herta Autosport with engineering input from Sam Schmidt Motorsports will be racing for Sam Schmidt Motorsports and Herta again at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but in the car that Alex Tagliani used to take pole at Indy and Texas Motor Speedway.
“You can be sure that car's going to be fast again,” said Franchitti, “and combine that with Dan's great feel for these tracks and where the limit is, I think he's got a really good chance – even from the back.”
Franchitti, who will be fighting for his third consecutive and fourth overall IndyCar title, admitted he wouldn't mind seeing his fellow two-time Indy 500 winner pull off the feat.
“It would be cool, it really would. OK, the easiest way for me to win the championship would be to win the race, but if he won and I finished second, it would be pretty cool. Having said that, I've gotta confess, I'd rather win. Sorry, DW!”