There's peace between Franchitti and Power at least for now
Chris Symeon, Motorsports Editor
Edmonton, AB (Sports Network) -
Following their incident two weeks ago in Toronto, cooler heads prevailed between IZOD IndyCar Series drivers Dario Franchitti and Will Power during Sunday's Edmonton race.
The rivalry between Franchitti and Power has not yet reached the same boiling point as the one between Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick in NASCAR, but who knows what the future holds in store for the two IndyCar title contenders.
Toronto featured its share of wrecks, but the one that garnered the most attention occurred late in the race when Franchitti made contact with Power and spun him in turn three. IndyCar officials originally penalized Franchitti for the incident, but his Chip Ganassi Racing team successfully appealed the penalty.
Shortly after his encounter with Franchitti, Power was involved in another incident -- this one involving Canadian Alex Tagliani -- which put him out of the race. Franchitti went on to win, while Power ended up finishing 24th.
Power accused Franchitti of racing him "dirty," noting that he did the same thing in Toronto as he did in the March 27 season-opener in St. Petersburg, FL.
"I think that's a slight exaggeration," Franchitti said after his Toronto win. "I don't think I'm known throughout the paddock as a driver who races people dirty."
After posting a DNF at Toronto and last month's Iowa race, Power redeemed himself with a much-needed win at Edmonton.
Will Power accused Dario Franchitti of racing him "dirty,".
There was also a suspension of hostilities between Franchitti and Power when the two had a friendly chat in victory lane.
The truce actually began before the start of the race.
"I think it broke the ice after [Sunday morning] warm-up," Power said. "He walked by. That was the first time we made eye contact. I started smiling. I put it behind me. I guess we were both playing a bit of mind games with each other there. But at the end of the day, you go out there and race how you race."
The mind games continued during the post-race press conference when the two made no eye contact.
But does Power still hold a grudge against Franchitti?
"I find it tough to be nasty to people," he said. "I can't help it. If I'm angry at someone and look them in the eye, I'll start laughing. Even if he came up to me after Toronto, maybe I would have laughed about it, too. I can definitely be angry behind their back."
Power's win coupled with a third-place finish for Franchitti allowed the former to trim the latter's point lead from 55 to 38. Seven races remain this season -- three of them on road/street courses and four on ovals. The next event is August 7 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Franchitti and Power have four victories each this season. They both won at Texas, with Franchitti taking the first race and Power the second in a rare IndyCar doubleheader.
The two have swapped the points lead several times so far this season.
"The points are going to ebb and flow, aren't they," Franchitti said. "That's going to happen throughout the rest of the season."
Last year, Power held a 59-point lead over Franchitti late in the season, but Franchitti bounced back in the final four races -- all of them on ovals -- to steal the championship from Power by just five points.
Might we see another epic battle between the two for the title?
"I predict that's exactly what's going to happen," Power said. "We need to keep finishing ahead of him to keep the points down. There's plenty of racing to go. We just got to stay on track."
Can they do it peacefully might be the bigger question.