Franchitti wins Long Beach Grand Prix

LONG BEACH, Calif., April 19 (UPI) -- Dario Franchitti won Sunday's IndyCar Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, leading 51 of the California auto race's 85 laps.

The Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver and 2007 IndyCar champion was helped by the second of two key pit stops in his first victory since the Indy 300, the 2007 IRL season-finale at the Chicagoland Raceway in Joliet, Ill.


After holding a 3-second lead, Franchitti pitted early on lap 53 for his second and final stop.

Will Power, Tony Kanaan and Danica Patrick also came in sooner than expected as part of their race strategies.

"To get a win for the Target team today is awesome, and it's a lot of fun," Franchitti said after his ninth career IndyCar victory but first on a road/street circuit.

He dedicated the win to his actress wife, Ashley Judd, who celebrated her 41st birthday Sunday.

Power was second, Kanaan was third and Patrick was fourth.

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