News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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May 31, 2010

RAMBLIN' RECK: Franchitti’s strong team helped lead to 500 victory

TERRE HAUTE — Another Indianapolis 500 is history and we now have another multi-race winner in the event.

Dario Franchitti won because he had a fast car — “It was a hand full, but it was a fast hand full,” he said — and because his team did a good job on the pit stops and in managing race strategy.

And while Franchitti drives for Target Chip Ganassi Racing, one of the super teams, other spots in the Top 10 went to teams other than the Top Three, namely Dan Wheldon with Panther Racing in second, Alex Lloyd with Dale Coyne Racing in fourth, Justin Wilson with Dryer and Reinbold Racing in seventh, and Alex Tagliani with Fazzt Race Team in 10th.

Otherwise, both Ganssi drivers — Franchitti and Scott Dixon — finished in the top five; Team Penske had Will Power and Helio Castroneves in eighth and ninth, and Andretti Autosport had Marco Andretti in third and Danica Patrick in sixth.

We picked Dixon to win. So, we had the right team.

Some added 500 trivia:

• Franchitti went from 59th to 21st on laps led in the race;

• A car with the number 10 won for the first time;

• Franchitti won from the third starting slot, the 11th time the winner has started from that spot on the front row;

• Panther Racing has finished second in the 500 three straight years, Vitor Meira doing it in 2008 and Wheldon the past two years;

• Franchitti is the first driver from Scotland to win the race more than once; Jimmy Clark won in 1965;

• Ganassi Racing drivers have led the most laps in the race three straight years; Dixon led 115 laps when he won in 2008 and 73 when he took sixth in 20009.

And so it went on a hot, hot, hot and dry day in Indianapolis.

Tom-Cattin’ It — Trent Heckman has offered his resignation as boys basketball coach at Owen Valley. He had a 111-70 record in eight seasons and one team won a sectional.

Longtime assistant Chad Smith has been named interim coach.

• The Purdue Boilermaker Blockbuster will return to Indianapolis with the men’s basketball team playing Indiana State and the women taking on Auburn in the Dec. 18 doubleheader in Conseco Fieldhouse.

Ball State’s cagers will play in the Great Alaska Shootout with games slated Nov. 24-27.

• Twins David and Travis Wear will leave North Carolina and enroll at UCLA. They are 6 feet 10 and weigh 230 pounds.

• Dan Hartleb will continue as baseball coach at Illinois. Ken Westray, former ISU aide, will remain as pitching coach.

• Jeremy Finch will not return to Indiana for his senior season in football. The all-stater from Warren Central originally went to Florida, where he played linebacker. He saw action in 12 games the past two seasons at IU at safety.

• Harness racing is slated next week in Illinois at the Clark County Fair at Marshall and at the Martinsville Agricultural Fair the week of July 5.


Tom Reck may be contacted by telephone at (812) 232-3231, by email at or by mail at 4284 S. Fifth Street, Apt. 3, Terre Haute, IN 47802.

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    March 12, 2010