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DATE News (chronologically)
10/14/09
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Interesting season ending IndyCar stats  Some quickee facts and stats at the conclusion of the 14th IndyCar Series season:

Of the 40 drivers who started at least one race, 27 earned a top-10 finish, 18 a top five and 15 wound up on the podium.

Nine teams (counting Will Power in the Penske Racing car as part of Team Penske) finished on the podium. Four teams (Team Penske, Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Andretti Green Racing) had multiple podium finishers during the season. The fourth? Vision Racing with Ryan Hunter-Reay (runner-up at St. Pete) and Ed Carpenter (runner-up at Kentucky Speedway).

Dario Franchitti became the third driver to win multiple IndyCar Series championships. Sam Hornish Jr. leads with three (2001, 2002, 2006), and Scott Dixon has two (2003, 2008).

Franchitti is the fifth different series champion in the past six years. He's also the first series title-holder not to win the Indianapolis 500 in the same year since 2004 (Tony Kanaan).

This is the third IndyCar Series championship and second in a row for Target Chip Ganassi Racing. Dixon won the title for the team in 2003 and 2008.

It's the third time in series history that teammates have finished 1-2 in the standings. Kanaan finished first and Dan Wheldon second for Andretti Green Racing in 2004, and Wheldon won with Kanaan second for AGR in 2005.

Franchitti beat Dixon for the title by 11 points -- the third-closest margin in series history. Buzz Calkins and Scott Sharp tied for the championship in 1996, and Hornish tied Wheldon for the title in 2006, winning by tiebreaker with the most victories during that season. Tony Stewart beat Davey Hamilton for the 1996-97 title by six points.

Twelve points separated the top three finishers - Franchitti (616), Dixon (605) and Ryan Briscoe (604) -- the third-closest margin between the top three in series history. In 2006, two points separated champion Hornish (475), Wheldon (475) and third place Helio Castroneves (473). In 1996, six points separated co-champions Calkins and Sharp (246) and third place Robbie Buhl (240).

• The Firestone Indy 300 was a career-best fifth victory for Franchitti, who won four races en route to the 2007 IndyCar Series season title with Andretti Green Racing.

It was the 34th IndyCar Series victory for Target Chip Ganassi Racing, tying Andretti Green Racing for No. 2 on the all-time series victory list. Team Penske/Penske Racing leads with 35.

It was the 10th victory if the season for Target Chip Ganassi Racing (Franchitti and Dixon each with five).

The average speed of the Firestone Indy 300 (201.420 mph) was the second-fastest in IndyCar Series history. Hornish won the race in September 2003 at California Speedway with an average speed of 207.151.

It was the first caution-free race in IndyCar Series history. The previous record was one, set four times: Two laps in August 2008 at the Infineon road course, six laps in September 2003 at the California oval and one for 10 laps in August 2005 at the Pikes Peak oval and in August 2003 at the Kentucky oval.

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