After getting pushed into the W Hotel pool by Tony Kanaan, IndyCar champ Dario Franchitti makes his way out during last night’s Championship Celebration in Miami. Photo: Ron McQueeney/IZOD IndyCar Series.
1. Dario the Third
As much as you may feel gutted for Will Power, everything just clicked for Dario Franchitti in the final four races of the season. He always took advantage of mistakes from Power and Team Penske, and in the end, he did everything he had to do to snatch the title away from his Aussie rival and cement his legacy as the best driver in Indy Racing League history. PLUS 10.
2. Danica vs. Kanaan
With the title pretty much in the bag for Franchitti, Scott Dixon cruised away with the checkered flag. But the real fun was behind him as teammates Danica Patrick and Tony Kanaan (in what may turn out to be his final performance for Andretti Autosport) sliced and diced for second place. As pitiful as the attendance was at Homestead-Miami Speedway, you could still hear the cheers on TV as Patrick beat Kanaan to the stripe. Let’s hope we see more of this from Danica in 2011. PLUS 7.
3. “Pink” Lloyd is top rookie
It took him a few years following his Firestone Indy Lights championship, but Alex Lloyd is finally starting to show off his talent in the big leagues. The British racer outhustled Simona de Silvestro, Takuma Sato and Bertrand Baguette for Rookie of the Year honors; his best finish this season was a strong fourth at the Indianapolis 500. PLUS 5.
4. Power failure
Will Power will eventually get his IndyCar title, but his first attempt at the crown will likely stick with him for a bit due to how it ended. As his crew scrambled to fix the suspension damage he sustained on Lap 134, all he could do was sit in the cockpit and hope for a miracle that wouldn’t come. His eyes told everything. MINUS 10.
5. Bye-bye Homestead
Just 12,000 fans (if that) saw the IndyCars’ final farewell to South Florida. It was a replay of Chicagoland — a good race being played out to a sea of aluminum. But considering that a title was on the line Saturday, Homestead was even worse to behold as far as attendance was concerned. MINUS 10.
6. Graham’s got a sponsor
TBC Retail Group will be backing American driver Graham Rahal for the next two seasons. Now the question is, where’s he going to end up? We’ve heard rumors of him going to Panther and Ganassi, but could Andretti be a possibility now that Kanaan is apparently a free agent? PLUS 5.
This week: +7 beans.
FINAL SCORE FOR 2010: +20 beans.