Dario Franchitti survived a late restart to win the first of the two races at the IndyCar Twin 275s at Texas, leading Scott Dixon across the line for a Ganassi 1-2 sweep.
"What can I say about that one? From the first lap I was able to get in the lead, and the biggest problem was fighting through traffic," said Franchitti, who moved into ninth on the all-time Indy car racing victory list with 28 (breaking a tie with Johnny Rutherford and one behind Rick Mears).
Franchitti took the lead from polesitter Alex Tagliani at the start and comfortably controlled most of the race, but the Scot's hopes of a straightforward win were shot when rookies Wade Cunningham and Charlie Kimball came together at Turn 3 with 21 laps remaining, bringing about the race's only caution period.
Franchitti and Dixon controlled the double-file restart, but Penske's Will Power and Sam Schmidt's Tagliani were both right on their tail, and the quartet broke away from the rest of the pack and fought between themselves over the final three laps. Although all retained their original positions, the intensity of the scrap was reflected in the fact that all four were covered by just 0.2sec at the finish.
"From the first lap I was able to get into the lead and the biggest problem was traffic," Franchitti said. "The first win at Texas feels good. We've come close before."
The grid for the second race was determined by random draw, and Kimball and Cunningham are both expected to have their cars repaired in time to make the start.
Results - 114 laps:
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap
1. Dario Franchitti Ganassi 54m47.2787s
2. Scott Dixon Ganassi + 0.0527s
3. Will Power Penske + 0.2064s
4. Alex Tagliani Sam Schmidt + 0.4109s
5. Takuma Sato KV + 1.4174s
6. Ryan Briscoe Penske + 1.4337s
7. EJ Viso KV + 2.1127s
8. Vitor Meira Foyt + 2.5355s
9. Graham Rahal Ganassi + 2.8146s
10. Helio Castroneves Penske + 4.3388s
11. Tony Kanaan KV + 4.7842s
12. Paul Tracy Dragon + 7.0114s
13. Marco Andretti Andretti + 1 lap
14. Alex Lloyd Dale Coyne + 1 lap
15. Jay Howard Sam Schmidt + 1 lap
16. Danica Patrick Andretti + 1 lap
17. Justin Wilson Dreyer & Reinbold + 1 lap
18. Ed Carpenter Sarah Fisher + 1 lap
19. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti + 1 lap
20. James Hinchcliffe Newman/Haas + 1 lap
21. Oriol Servià Newman/Haas + 2 laps
22. Ana Beatriz Dreyer & Reinbold + 2 laps
23. JR Hildebrand Panther + 2 laps
24. Mike Conway Andretti + 2 laps
25. James Jakes Dale Coyne + 2 laps
26. Simona de Silvestro HVM + 3 laps
27. Davey Hamilton Dreyer & Reinbold + 5 laps
28. Sebastian Saavedra Conquest + 17 laps
Wade Cunningham Sam Schmidt 92 laps
Charlie Kimball Ganassi 91 laps