Indy 500 Champion Dario Franchitti Makes Move to Nascar

by : Julie Smith

The world-class driver Dario Franchitti will become the first European in NASCAR history; the Scottish who has raced in the United States since 1997 in the former CART series and Indy Car Series will drive for Chip Ganassi in the 2008 season using the No. 40 Nextel Cup car, to join the well known Juan Pablo Montoya, who made the official switch from F1 to NASCAR last year.

The 34-years- old driver, decided to move to NASCAR after an 11 year's career in open-wheel racing where he recently obtained the title of the most prestigious race in North American Indy-style racing, the Indianapolis 500 plus the Series Championship. Dario signed a multiyear contract to replace David Stremme; who ended his relationship with his sponsor Coors Light. It is important to mention Franchitti not only had a great end in Indy Car Series, in five seasons of competition his resume lists eight wins, 30 top fives, 46 top 10s and seven pole positions in 67 starts, he is definitely an extraordinary driver.

Dario is the latest international driver to jump to NASCAR after his good friend and former CART Juan Pablo Montoya moved from Formula 1 last year. Apparently, this American sport is becoming more open to drivers of others countries; therefore, its popularity has been expanded worldwide. In regards Franchitti said "NASCAR fans don't have to worry about the sport losing its American look." "NASCAR is always going to be predominantly US drivers".

The Scotsman already had his first appearance in stock cars competing at the Craftsman Truck Series in the Kroger 200; however, it was not as he expected since due to an incident he had to leave the competition. Thought, his performance before the lap 100 was above the standard of a first time driver. He will continue to prepare for his first NASCAR Sprint Cup with a show up in NASCAR Busch Series this weekend at the Texas Motor Speedway.

The Scottish has a long way to go before he can even think about winning a stock car race. NASCAR is totally a different world than IndyCar Series and there are a lot of things to get use to. There is a plenty of work to do between now and the beginning of the 2008 season; but the new challenge represents new goals in Dario's life that seems to have a lot to show still.