Firestone Indy 300 IndyCar Series finale from Homestead-Miami Speedway

Although he wanted it so bad it hurt, Ryan Briscoe just couldn't buy himself a yellow flag in the Firestone Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The Team Penske driver was leading the season points battle with just seven laps remaining in this, the final race of the season at Homestead, and might have won the race and the championship had this been any other race. You see, fuel consumption became an issue and Briscoe had to pit with just seven laps between himself and the trophy for a splash and go. The reason? This was the first IndyCar race in history without a single yellow flag.

It's not as if these guys want to see crashes during the race, but up until today, they could always count on at least one incident to slow things down for a stretch, conserving fuel in the process. Not this time. As Briscoe pitted, Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Dario Franchitti took the lead and never looked back. Just as in 2007, when it was Scott Dixon who had to pit and thereby relinquish the crown to Dario, Briscoe saw his hopes fade as even Dixon passed him in the race and in the final points tally. Had he been able to hold onto his lead, Briscoe would have been the sixth different IRL/IndyCar champ in the past six years.

As disappointing as it was for Briscoe, the year ended up being a good one for Franchitti, who did short stint in NASCAR before returning to IndyCar's open wheelers. Yesterday's title is Franchitti's second and the third for Target Chip Ganassi Racing. In an odd bit of meaninglessly trivial statistics, it was the 10th series win for Dario, on the 10th day of the 10th month in the number 10 car. And Lincoln's secretary was named Kennedy, while Kennedy's was Lincoln. The top three in the final points tally were Franchitti (616), Dixon (605), and Briscoe (604). Due to the lack of yellows, yesterday's race at Homestead went down as the second fastest in IndyCar Series history, with an average speed of 201.420 mph.

[Photo credit: Shawn Payne/IndyCar]
Race Results:

Fn. St. Driver Team Chassis Laps Average Speed/Notes
1. 1. Dario Franchitti Target Chip Ganassi Honda Dallara 200 201.420 mph average, led 25 laps
2. 3. Ryan Briscoe Team Penske Honda Dallara 200 200 -4.7888 seconds, led 103 laps
3. 2. Scott Dixon Target Chip Ganassi Honda Dallara 200 200 -6.0206 seconds, led 70 laps
4. 15. Tony Kanaan Andretti Green Racing Honda Dallara 199 Running
5. 11. Helio Castroneves Team Penske Honda Dallara 199 Running, led 2 laps
6. 19. Hideki Mutoh Andretti Green Racing Honda Dallara 198 Running
7. 10. Mario Moraes KV Racing Technology Honda Dallara 198 Running
8. 5. Alex Lloyd-R Newman Haas Lanigan Honda Dallara 198 Running
9. 12. Tomas Scheckter Dreyer & Reinbold Honda Dallara 197 Running
10. 13. Justin Wilson Dale Coyne Racing Honda Dallara 197 Running
11. 6. Graham Rahal Newman Haas Lanigan Honda Dallara 197 Running
12. 4. Ed Carpenter Vision Racing Honda Dallara 197 Running
13. 21. Ryan Hunter-Reay A.J. Foyt Racing Honda Dallara 196 Running
14. 9. Raphael Matos-R Luczo Dragon Racing Honda Dallara 196 Running
15. 20. Mike Conway-R Dreyer & Reinbold Honda Dallara 195 Running
16. 18. E.J. Viso HVM Racing Honda Dallara 194 Running
17. 17. Milka Duno Dreyer & Reinbold Honda Dallara 194 Running
18. 16. Sarah Fisher Sarah Fisher Racing Honda Dallara 187 Running
19. 7. Danica Patrick Andretti Green Racing Honda Dallara 185 Running (delayed, contact)
20. 22. Robert Doornbos-R HVM Racing Honda Dallara 166 Did not finish (mechanical)
21. 14. Dan Wheldon Panther Racing Honda Dallara 150 Did not finish (contact)
22. 8. Marco Andretti Andretti Green Racing Honda Dallara 58 Did not finish (brakes)
23. 23. Jaques Lazier Curb/Agajanian/3G Honda Dallara 23 Did not finish (handling)
R - IndyCar Series Rookie

Final IndyCar Series Standings (after 17 of 17 races):

1. Dario Franchitti 616 points (5 wins)
2. Scott Dixon 605 (5 wins)
3. Ryan Briscoe 604 (3 wins)
4. Helio Castroneves 433 (2 wins)
5. Danica Patrick 393
6. Tony Kanaan 386
7. Graham Rahal 385
8. Marco Andretti 380
9. Justin Wilson 354 (1 win)
10. Dan Wheldon 354
11. Hideki Mutoh 353
12. Ed Carpenter 321