Sunday, August 5
Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti of Scotland walked away from a spectacular and frightening seven-car crash Sunday during the Firestone Indy 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
Franchitti, who came into the race leading the IndyCar Series points and having finished all but one lap this season, had led most of the race and was working hard to hold off Dan Wheldon on lap 144 of a scheduled 200 on the 2-mile oval when the two touched wheels on the backstretch at about 218 mph.
Franchitti's car turned sideways and flipped over Wheldon's car high into the air, at one point with its nose pointing straight toward the ground. As Franchitti's open-cockpit car came down, upside down, Scott Dixon, who was seeking his fourth straight victory and is chasing Franchitti in the points, drove into and under the Scotsman's flying car, nearly getting hit in the helmet.
Before the melee ended, three-time series champion Sam Hornish Jr., former Michigan winner Tomas Scheckter, Ed Carpenter and A.J. Foyt IV also were involved.
"I had a very fast car and I was just trying to stay ahead of Dan," said Franchitti, whose parents and sister were at the race and rushed to the infield hospital to make sure he was OK. "I closed my eyes and, when I opened them, I found myself up in the air, backward about 30 feet in the air. I was just hoping it wasn't going to hurt when I came down.
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