Dario Franchitti has one win this year and it happened to come in the biggest race of the season. The Ganassi driver won the Indianapolis 500 from the 16th starting position.
Indy was a rare poor qualifying effort for the Scotsman this season. And if you looked at Franchitti's career results and starting positions this season, you would think he'd be wrapping up his fourth straight title in the next few races.
Franchitti enters Edmonton with starting on the front row the last four races including three straight poles. He's actually started on the front row in six of the last eight races.
Unfortunately, the three-time Indy 500 champ hasn't had the results to show for the great starts. In the last four races Franchitti has finished 14th, 19th, 25th, and 17th.
At Texas, he had an ill-handling race car and had to just ride around all night. In Milwaukee, he once again had an ill-handling car and ended up hitting the wall toward the end of the race.
At Iowa, the bad luck continued as he started on the pole but blew an engine before the race even started. Finally, at the last race in Toronto Franchitti had a bad pit stop where he pulled too far away from the wall and the team couldn't get the hose to stretch to fuel his car. That dropped him to the back and he could never get back through the field. He ended up wrecking with Ryan Briscoe on the last restart with three laps to go.
In fact, Franchitti only has three four top-10 finishes on the season. For three of those, he qualified outside the top 10. There seems to be an odd trend for Franchitti this year, that the worse he qualifies, the better he finishes--and vice versa.
Franchitti's first top-10 came in the second race at Barber. He qualified 18th in that event. In Belle Isle he started 14th and came all the way up to second, while in Indy he qualified 16th and won the race, as previously mentioned. The only time he started in the top 10 and finished there was in Brazil where he started second and finished fifth.
Starting up front is usually a must as Franchitti has started in the top six all three years in Edmonton, but for his sake he may want to think about starting midpack on Sunday.