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DATE News (chronologically)
09/07/10
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Power looks for mistake-free race in Japan and Homestead
Will Power points to the oval experience of Dario Franchitti, his closest pursuer for the IZOD IndyCar Series championship, as a potential difference-maker.

"He's a very mistake-free, fast driver. And he's very experienced," Power said of Franchitti, who has prevailed in the two series title chases he's been involved in (2007 and '09). "He knows how to win championships. He knows how to win races. I've just got to be a little bit better than that."

Power, who with two races left is contending for his first championship, looked strong on a 1.5-mile oval for the second consecutive week, leading 83 laps in the Kentucky Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway, but lost four positions late in the 200-lap race when the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car got pushed up the track inches from the wall while he was lapping a car.

The loss of momentum during the blistering green-flag pace put Power eighth at the checkered flag. It opened the door for Franchitti, who finished fifth, to close to 17 points in the title chase. Scott Dixon is 83 points back. Third-place finisher Dan Wheldon surpassed Power's laps led total to swipe the two bonus points, which also could prove to be crucial as the season winds down.

"I just went straight up towards the wall and thought I was going in, but just missed it," Power said. "It took awhile to gather myself up again. Congratulations to Helio (Castroneves) and Team Penske for bringing home the victory. It's unbelievable I've never finished better than fifth, but we're getting there.

"We have our work cut out for us for the championship, but we still have the lead and onward we go."

Twin Ring Motegi, where Power hasn't competed and Franchitti has finished second and third his past two visits, is up next (Sept. 19). The finale is Oct. 2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

"We finished ahead of Will, which was one of the things we needed to achieve, but it would have been nice to have finished a little further up," said Franchitti, driver of the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car.

CHAMPIONSHIP RACES WITH TWO RACES LEFT (2006-2009):

2009

Races remaining: Twin Ring Motegi, Homestead-Miami Speedway
Ryan Briscoe … 550*
Dario Franchitti … 525
Scott Dixon … 517
* - won third-from-last race at Chicagoland
Champion: Franchitti by 11 points over Dixon and 12 over Briscoe

2008

Races remaining: Belle Isle, Chicagoland
Scott Dixon … 576
Helio Castroneves … 533*
Dan Wheldon … 452
Tony Kanaan … 446
* - won third-from-last race at Infineon
Champion: Dixon by 17 points over Castroneves

2007

Races remaining: Belle Isle, Chicagoland
Scott Dixon … 560*
Dario Franchitti … 556
Tony Kanaan … 498
* - won third-from-last race at Infineon
Champion: Franchitti by 13 points over Dixon

2006

Races remaining: Infineon, Chicagoland
Sam Hornish Jr. … 418*
Helio Castroneves … 411
Dan Wheldon … 394
Scott Dixon … 385
* - won third-from-last race at Kentucky
Champion: Hornish (all four tied in points; Hornish won based on number of victories)

2. Kanaan presides over Great Bed Race: Tony Kanaan rolled out of bed early Sept. 5 to watch dozens of people roll into beds.

The 2004 IZOD IndyCar Series champion, who recorded a fourth-place finish at Kentucky Speedway a mere 12 hours earlier, served as the grand marshal for the 1-800-411 PAIN Great Grove Bed Race to benefit the Alonzo Mourning Charities and the University of Miami Sleep Center.

Grand and Commodore Avenues were transformed into Coconut Grove's 1/8th-mile drag strip, with four-person leg power replacing motors. Participants from 38 teams were hoping to grab first place in the theme, décor or racing time competitions in addition to having a bed full of fun for a good cause.

Kanaan, Homestead-Miami Speedway president Matthew Becherer and District 2 commissioner Marc Sarnoff were the judges. Kanaan also was the official starter for push-cart races (driving one, too) and was involved in other events.

The idea of propping beds on wheels and racing them dates to 1920 in the streets of England. Coconut Grove picked up on the idea 30 years ago, and after an eight-year hiatus, the city revived the event in 2009.

Kanaan, a Miami resident who posted his first IZOD IndyCar Series pole start at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2003, also was promoting the IZOD IndyCar Series season finale at track on Oct. 2.

"We're lucky to have Tony here in South Florida," Becherer said. "He has contributed so much to the success of the IndyCar Series, and his involvement with the bed race shows his commitment to the local community."

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