Dario Franchitti became the 10th driver in the 96 years of Indianapolis to win three or more 500s, picking up his third on Sunday by winning a last-lap trophy dash with Takuma Sato to the checkered flag.
The race had shaped into what was expected to be a duel to the finish between Franchitti and Dixon. But when the Scot made his final pass of Dixon with two laps to go, he pulled Sato with him and it sapped Dixon’s momentum.
Dixon crossed the finish line in second, and Kanaan was third.
Franchitti dedicated his victory to the late Dan Wheldon, who won the Indy 500 last year after taking the lead from then-rookie J.R. Hildebrand when Hildebrand crashed coming out of the final turn on the last lap.
Wheldon lost his life during a multi-car crash that occurred in the early going of the October 16 season-finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
“Racing is emotion. Life is as well,” Franchitti said after joining the rare pantheon of three-time Indy 500champions.
“Vegas was the lowest of the low. I think the reason we all got back in the cars and the reason all the mechanics got back in pit lane and the fans continue to come to the races is days like today, the emotions of something like that.