Fast Five with Dario Franchitti

When I talk about Dario Franchitti on Twitter, there is always one word I use: Legend. And that is exactly what he is, a legend. When he retires (hopefully not in the near future), Dario will go down as one of the greatest to ever race. Three Indianapolis 500 wins, four Indycar championships, and other big stats including 31 wins, 30 poles, and 85 podiums in his American open wheel career is enough to get you legend status. So it is with great honor that I give you an interview with the Legend, Dario Franchitti! Enjoy:

1) So you've now had 11 races in the DW12. Do you (on an overall basis) like the DW12? And drivers, like Townsend Bell, have been calling for more horsepower. Would you support the notion of adding horsepower in the long run?

DF: The car is much better than it was at the start of testing, at that point the weight distribution etc was all wrong and it wasn't nice to drive at all, after our first day running at the speedway TK was white as sheet and we were both pretty scared while running 208 averages!!  Those problems have since been fixed. There are some challenges still such as a big inconsistency with the brakes and a lack of power steering combined with the front geometry gives some mean kickback through the steering. It has produced some very good racing though but more horsepower on all types of track would be nice!!

Dario will go down as the first Indy 500 winner in the
 DW12, an accolade many would love to have

2) You have had some rotten luck this season and are currently 8th in the points, 104 points back of Ryan Hunter-Reay, but you have been strong at the last four tracks on the schedule in the past. Can you still win the championship?

DF: It will be very tough now to win the championship, past results on tracks have no bearing on current or future ones. Your question got me thinking so I checked, we've won on 11 of this years tracks and been on the podium at 13. To challenge for a championship you must be strong on all tracks because the guys you're fighting against will be!! This year has been one of those "if it could go wrong" type of seasons and we've made a couple of mistakes along the way too. Winning Indianapolis has been the high point in an otherwise fairly tough year, the trick is to learn from it and don't give up.

3) New schedule should be announced within the next two months. What track(s) would you like to see on the 2013 schedule?

DF: Road America, Loudon, Vancouver, Cleveland, Richmond, Phoenix, Homestead, surfers paradise, motegi oval and possibly pocono plus the tracks already on the schedule. I'm sure I've missed a couple.

4) Do you think Randy Bernard has done a good job as the CEO of Indycar?

DF: Yes, in my opinion he needs to continue to make his team stronger though as one person can only do so much. His job has been made tougher as he has to balance the books where for a long time before Randy took the job that wasn't a priority. There's nothing like having a smaller budget to make a job difficult especially when everyone is expecting the same or better results. Our on track product is excellent and now we need to get our TV numbers to reflect that, I hope Randy and his team can make progress there.

5) The staple question on the Fast Five series is have you ever sneezed, sighed, or anything else that would be considered obscure whilst driving a race car?

DF: I had a fly take 5 laps round Phoenix with me inside my helmet in 2009, it was very funny to see the fly get moved around the helmet when 5+ g's took effect at each end of the track! As soon as I slowed down and opened the visor he was off... I bet he had a hell of a story to tell his wife and kids when he got home that night!!!

While testing the Acura for highcroft at Sebring I passed the pits to find that my brother Marino had written me a message on the Dyson digital pit board, after I somehow made it through turn one I was laughing so hard I couldn't press the brakes hard enough and had a wee trip across the grass in turn 2!!!

Many thanks to Dario Franchitti for taking the time to do this interview with me! I am pumped to watch him make a run for the championship!

Let me know what you think.

-Matthew Hickey