INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Weather was the story of the day in 2007. 113 laps in, the race was red flagged due to heavy rain. After a three hour delay, the race resumed.
With more rain on the way, teams tried to strategize a way to win. A couple of cautions helped Dario Franchitti save enough fuel to assume the lead. Before the race could restart, there was another accident and the rain soon followed.
Franchitti led the field around the track behind the pace car in a downpour until at lap 166, the yellow and checkered flags were displayed together, giving Franchitti his first Indy win.
Franchitti’s wife, actress Ashley Judd was so excited about the win that she ran through the rain down pit road to meet her husband.
The victory celebration took place in a garage under the pagoda as a result of the rain. Despite the unusual circumstances, Franchitti had no complaints about how things transpired.
“I’ve got to thank all these guys here, the whole Andretti-Green Racing. This man here, this is for him,” Franchitti said of car owner Michael Andretti.
Franchitti also knew that a little bit of luck was involved in his win.
“If you knew the reason why we went with that strategy. We cut a tire on some debris and we had to make the pit stop and these guys called a great race,” Franchitti said. “And I was saving fuel under yellow. I was saving so much fuel. But whenever it went green I had to go. I had Dixon back there and he’s a man to watch. But I can’t believe it. It’s the Indy 500. I’ve got to thank my whole team, my teammates, everybody here. It’s awesome.”