No. 964
September 19, 2018

About The Autoextremist


Author, commentator, influencer. The Consigliere. Minister of the High-Octane Truth. Editor-in-Chief of .

Peter DeLorenzo has been in and around the sport of racing since the age of ten. After a 22-year career in automotive marketing and advertising, where he worked on national campaigns as well as creating many motorsports campaigns for various clients, DeLorenzo established on June 1, 1999. Over the years DeLorenzo's commentaries on racing and the business of motorsports have resonated throughout the industry. Because of the burgeoning influence of those commentaries, DeLorenzo has directly consulted automotive clients on the fundamental direction and content of their motorsports programs. DeLorenzo is considered to be one of the most influential voices commenting on the sport today.

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June 2, 2010

A champion in every sense of the word.

By Peter M. De Lorenzo

(Posted 5/31, 10:00AM) Detroit.
No, it wasn't one of the most scintillating races ever - with the scorching heat making for treacherous track conditions - but there was no question that Dario Franchitti had 'em all covered this past Sunday in the Indianapolis 500. I never like to see a "500" race end on a caution - especially with a horrific wreck the likes of which Mike Conway suffered, who fortunately escaped with "only" a broken leg - but it was Dario's race to lose and his competition managed to keep making uncharacteristic mistakes, which helped the race play right into his hands. Now without that late caution things might have been different with Dan Wheldon clearly ready to pounce with plenty of fuel on board in his National Guard-sponsored entry - while Dario was stretching his fuel to the finish - but it was not to be, and Dario won his second Indianapolis 500, one more than his Scottish countryman and boyhood hero, Jim Clark.

Now I have to say right up front that Dario has grown to be one of my all-time favorites because of the way he conducts himself both on and off the track. Here is a guy who held his dreams near and dear to his heart throughout his career. His respect for Jim Clark and his deep appreciation for the history of the sport elevate his standing among his peers in my estimation.

In short, Dario gets it. He understands and appreciates that what he does - and what he does so very, very well - is something that a lot of enthusiasts wish they could do, and he does so with honor and a deep respect for the historical giants who came before him and who gave so much to the sport he loves. And his sheer joy in what he does is something to behold too. It's not only infectious, but it puts smiles on people's faces who know and understand the sacrifices that he and his family had to make in order for him to succeed at the highest level of the sport.

Forthright, honest, respectful and supremely talented, Dario Franchitti bristles with enthusiasm and he's not only grateful for being able to do what he does, you can tell he savors every moment of it. That's why I appreciate him, and that's why we all should appreciate and revel in his talent, his drive and his will to do it the right way.

Dario's wife, Ashley Judd, got it right in an interview several years ago when she called her husband "a magnificent sportsman." Once upon a time this sport was filled with sportsmen who raced for the pure thrill of it and who conducted themselves with dignity, honor, a sense of fair play, and with a fundamental appreciation for the challenge and the quest. If victory resulted, even better, but it was just as important to compete and strive for greatness and to do so in a manner befitting a champion.

And make no mistake, Dario Franchitti is a champion in every sense of the word.

(Jim Haines/IndyCar)
Chip Ganassi, Ashley Judd and the entire Target Ganassi Racing Team help Dario Franchitti celebrate his second Indianapolis 500 win.

(Chris Jones/IndyCar)
Ashley and Dario prepare to kiss the "yard of bricks" at the start finish line of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway after his second "500" win."

(Chris Jones/IndyCar)
Dario and his father George share a moment of pure elation after his victory.

(Shawn Gritzmacher/IndyCar)
Dario Franchitti and the entire Target Chip Ganassi Racing crew celebrate his Indianapolis 500 win one more time Monday morning (5/31) at the traditional "morning after" victory photo shoot.

(Bret Kelley/IMS)
Dario Franchitti, two-time Indianapolis 500 Champion.

(Dana Garrett/IMS)
Dario and Ashley with the Borg-Warner Trophy.


Publisher's Note: As part of our continuing series celebrating the "Glory Days" of racing, we're proud to present another noteworthy image from the Ford Racing Archives. - PMD

(Courtesy of the Ford Racing Archives)
Indianapolis, Indiana, 1965. Jim Clark, Colin Chapman and crew the morning after winning the 1965 Indianapolis 500. The "Flying Scot" dominated the race from start to finish, leading 190 of the 200 laps.


Publisher's Note: Like these Ford racing photos? Check out Be forewarned, however, because you won't be able to go there and not order something. - PMD




See another live episode of "Autoline After Hours" hosted by Autoline Detroit's John McElroy, with Peter De Lorenzo and friends this Thursday evening, at 7:00PM EDT at

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