Maybe Judd was inspired by Franchitti, who absolutely dominated the competition Sunday. Franchitti led 155 of the race's 200 laps but did have to sweat a little bit at the end as he and the rest of the field ran close on fuel mileage.
As the race restarted for the final time, Franchitti was fourth, with Mike Conway (who was later involved in a vicious wreck), Justin Wilson and Helio Castroneves in front of him, and they all needed to pit to be able to make it to the end.
So did Tony Kanaan, who started 33rd and was fifth behind Franchitti. Kanaan got to within about a half a second of Franchitti as Franchitti encountered traffic and was saving fuel, but Kanaan had to hit the pit lane with seven laps to go.
That left Dan Wheldon as Franchitti's closest challenger, but he couldn't get close to Franchitti, which allowed Franchitti to run laps at the end that were 20 mph slower than regular race pace to conserve gas.
"This is just as good a second time. Up until 10 laps to go I was pretty relaxed but then all hell broke loose with fuel saving and stuff," Franchitti said.
And Franchitti was further helped at the end by Conway's last-lap crash which put the yellow out, allowing Franchitti to coast to the finish line. The win made Franchitti's owner, Chip Ganassi, the first man to win the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500 in the same season.
Castroneves, who was bidding to be a four-time Indy 500 champion, finished ninth, while Kanaan finished 11th.
And of course, what would an Indy post be without Danica Patrick? Patrick, who made waves last week for her comments about her car on qualifying day, slowly made her way up through the field and was comfortably hanging out just outside the top 10 until the fuel mileage bonanza gave her a fifth-place finish.
- Ashley Judd
- Tony Kanaan
- Jerry Punch