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Franchitti’s contract status close, but not finalized, for 2014

Aug 6, 2013, 2:30 PM EDT

Hondy Indy 200 Getty Images

Dario Franchitti spent a moment in the Mid-Ohio press room on Sunday clarifying his contract status with Target Chip Ganassi Racing for the 2014 IndyCar season. In brief, all parties are planning on a return, but there’s no done deal yet.

“I was asked a question yesterday, would I like to come back, and I said, definitely. So the question was then changed to attached to my answer, if you know what I mean,” said Franchitti, referring to a USA Today story over the weekend which said he was confirmed back in the No. 10 Honda for next year.

“I would love to come back next year. Chip would like me to come back. Target would like me to come back. The team would like me to come back. So we are all on the same page, but we haven’t anything to announce yet.”

Franchitti has been consistent if not the outright fastest driver on the grid since Long Beach in April. Two miserable races out of the gate left him 26th and stone last in points, but top-10 finishes in 10 of the next 12 since have vaulted him up to sixth in points. His best finish is third place on three occasions (Pocono, Toronto 1, Mid-Ohio).

That aside, Franchitti’s due for a win. He hasn’t won at all since the 2012 Indianapolis 500 and his last win on a road or street course since Toronto in 2011. At Sonoma, the next round of the 2013 season, Franchitti has a win from pole (2009) and four straight top-five finishes at the Northern California permanent road course.

  1. Jeff - Aug 6, 2013 at 3:08 PM

    George Will once wrote that nobody is ever due. I agree. If that were the case you could say that about many winless IndyCar drivers since Dario’s last win.

  2. snoopyo - Aug 6, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    I will say that I think Dario is a complainer and that he seems to always get his way with the officiating. I really never have rooted for him but when I got his autograph a few years ago I told congratulations on his 500 win back in 2010 and he was very thankful and kept saying how much he appreciated the compliment. I think Dario has so much appreciation for the sport and especially at INDY.I think he will try to race several more years because he wants to be in that 4 time winners club with Rick, A.J. and Big Al. In the last few years its seems like the guys who most appreciate the greats are Dario and TK. Dario went out and bought Parnelli Jones a baby borg trophy which tells me how much he appreciates those legends most of the young drivers seem never to say anything about the legends.I am still a young guy and never got to see those guys race I did get to see Mario and A.J. at the end of there careers, Mario was still competitive but A.J. was never close to victory. I thought it was so cool hearing the story in 2012 when TK and Dario were with Parnelli, Rutherford and Uncle Bobby and how cool they thought it was. I loved it this year when Parnelli Jones was rooting for TK to win the 500

    • indycarseries500 - Aug 6, 2013 at 5:11 PM

      It was Helio and Dario, they were doing a three times winner shoot.

  3. manik56 - Aug 6, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    So are the TK and Hinch to Ganassi rumors just to drive Dario’s price down or could there be a fourth car again? Like Helio with Penske, as long as Dario can win the 500, I see no reason why Chip would want to get rid of him. You want a four time winner winning that race in a Target car.

    Anyone else still mega impressed with Kimball’s drive Sunday? Ganassi is suddenly as strong as ever.

  4. snoopyo - Aug 6, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    manik I think the rumors of TK to Ganassi is really strong. TK, Dario and Dixie are all real close friends and I am sure they would like to be teammates but I also think TK wants to be loyal and work with Vasser. For TK it will come down to sponsorship in my opinion because they were struggling to get sponsorship for most of the year but Sunoco came to the rescue for the races that Hydroxycut was not sponsoring. It could get interesting because we don’t know if GoDaddy wants to still sponsor and if they don’t then where does that leave Hinch but I think GoDaddy will stay. The Panther ride is open but thats a ride you try to avoid since John Barnes is the biggest snake in the paddock and has a habit of not paying his drivers. If TK leaves KV then there will be an open seat or will KV just put all there eggs into Simona. Dale Coyne has a 2nd car and that will be who brings the most money to the team knowing ole Dale. Some good drivers on the sidelines right now Servia and Briscoe are very capable of winning.

  5. bmcgrath2 - Aug 6, 2013 at 9:56 PM

    “I would love to come back next year. Chip would like me to come back. Target would like me to come back. The team would like me to come back. So we are all on the same page, but we haven’t anything to announce yet.”

    Oh boy…are they working on a another return to NASCAR?

    All kidding aside, I can’t see Dario running without Ganassi and Target.

    Snoopy, what was Dario like when you talked with him? I live in the Twin Cities and have friends who work at Target corporate and have bumped into him at appearances here with JPM. My friend (who knows nothing about racing) said he was really a nice guy.

  6. snoopyo - Aug 7, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    bmcgrath2 When I talked to him he was super nice.There were a few other fans around and he was the same way to them thanking them for coming to the track and very appreciative. I am not a Dario fan but I will say I was impressed with how good he was with the fans and how nice he was. He seems like a grateful person.Many of the drivers in the series that I have met were so nice Scott Dixon is considered boring by so many people but he was the same way as Dario real nice and thankful.

  7. makeham98 - Aug 7, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    Fortunately for him, Ashley doesn’t want him back, leaving him free to test drive later models.

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