TORONTO (AP) — Dario Franchitti won the Honda Indy on the street course in Toronto on Sunday, easily holding off Penske drivers Ryan Briscoe and Will Power on a late restart for his third win of the season.

It was the first race in Toronto for the IndyCar Series. Starting from the pole, Franchitti was both lucky and good in winning his third race of the season and regaining the series points lead over Target Chip Ganassi teammate Scott Dixon.

Franchitti is seeking his second series championship in three years after racing last season in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series. Penske and Ganassi drivers have won 16 of 18 races dating to last season.

Dixon was fourth, followed by Justin Wilson of Dale Coyne Racing, who won a week ago at Watkins Glen. Briscoe was second for the fifth time in six races.

Canadian drivers Paul Tracy and Alex Tagliani, seeking full-time rides, acquitted themselves well before late accidents spoiled their days. Tracy collided with Helio Castroneves with 20 laps remaining in the 85-lap race and both cars, running in the top three at the time, had to retire.

Tagliani, who led briefly, was involved in a three-car collision with 10 laps left and finished ninth.

Franchitti easily took the lead at the start and led the first 23 laps as chaos erupted behind him on the tricky 11-turn, 1.75-mile course. It is bumpy and treacherous because its patched sections of concrete become slicker and slicker with each lap.

Three drivers found early trouble. Power, Briscoe and Graham Rahal were involved in separate collisions on the first lap, allowing Tagliani to slide from fifth to second. Power was starting on the front row in just his fourth race of the season.

Briscoe, Power and Rahal all pitted for tires, and Rahal replaced the nose of his No. 02 Newman/Haas/Lanigan Honda.

Franchitti’s first pit stop was slow when a tire changer stripped a rear lug nut, dropping him deep in the field. But he caught a huge break when he was allowed to pit under caution while running in the top five on lap 58 because he was already committed to the stop.

Franchitti also was allowed to resume his spot on the grid just ahead of Tracy, who had already made his final stop.

“I don’t know what happened,” Franchitti said. “I guess the timing light showed I was ahead of Paul.”

Tagliani then gave up the lead to pit during the caution, giving the top spot to Castroneves, but with fresher tires Franchitti quickly moved back to the lead.

“He just looked like he was struggling,” Franchitti said of Castroneves. “He looked like he didn’t have any grip.”

Tracy, known for his aggressive style and racing for only the fourth time this season, challenged Castroneves for second entering curve 4 on lap 66, diving hard to the inside on the dogleg left turn. Their front wheels rubbed as they sailed through, but before the 40-year-old Tracy could complete the pass Castroneves swerved right, sending Tracy hard into the concrete barrier.

That set off a chorus of boos from the partisan Canadian crowd, a rarity for the popular Brazilian driver.

“When P.T. wrecked, he gave me a get-on-with-it signal,” Franchitti said of his former teammate in Champ Car. “That was nice to see. You never like to see P.T. in that position. I wanted him to get a great result.”

Tagliani – desperate, too, for a good finish in only his fifth race of the year – caused the final caution with 10 laps left when he dove hard inside of Tomas Scheckter and Mario Moraes in turn 3, and Franchitti easily pulled away on the restart on lap 78.


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