"I always race him clean, he always races me dirty".
"Does anyone ever penalize this guy"?
He's the guy that mouths off about everyone and whines about everyone, and he's the guy racing dirty who never gets a penalty from INDYCAR. It's just not right."
"@dariofranchitti hey princess thanks for that nice tap today--appreciate it"
That was just a sampling of Will Power's anger over his incident with Dario Franchitti on Sunday at the Honda Indy Toronto race. Power also had choice words for Alex Tagliani, calling him a "wanker". Contact with Tag had just ended Power's day, and it was apparently the last straw for the Aussie. In a heated interview on national TV, he also unloaded on Franchitti's "dirty" driving, the no-call penalty on Dario (which was announced, followed by an update that was no actual penalty), and the overall lack of penalties on Dario.
Franchitti, for his part, copped to "more than 50% of the blame”, but that wasn't enough for Power, who took to Twitter, still using some pretty strong terms to describe the incident and and the opinions of some of the fans who didn't see things as Power did. Franchitti responded that he should watch the video and they should talk, but Power wasn't having any of it:
“@dariofranchitti I did watch it and could not have raced you any cleaner----PI**ED”
It was par for a day that saw eight total cautions, well over half the field involved in some manner of contact or incident, and plenty of confusion over a penalty for Dario that turned out to be not a penalty at all.
IZOD IndyCar Series Race Control was announced as having issued a penalty on Dario for making contact with Power which spun him and dropped him back into the field. As the field went green after a caution, fans were initially puzzled, as it had been announced Franchitti was to serve a drive-through penalty. Later, Al Unser, Jr. said a penalty had never been issued, but the confusion was so widespread Scott Dixon reported having heard it on his radio during the race.
It was just one argument on a day full of them:
Danica Patrick calling Takuma Sato an "idiot" for running into the back of her...Michael Andretti angry at Ganassi for not properly lining up on restarts (ostensibly to get another lap under yellow and save fuel)...Ryan Hunter-Reay earning the ire of Graham Rahal with late contact...and many other drivers leaving the fair city of Toronto upset with one another, with Race Control, or with their day in general.
-Will Power was upset at Target Chip Ganassi.
-Michael Andretti was upset at the Ganassi Team.
-Even Ganassi was upset with Ganassi (Scott Dixon apparently had several choice words for Graham Rahal after the race)
The list of people Chip Ganassi and Co. might be getting Christmas cards from this year appears to have narrowed greatly in the past 24 hours.
One thing is for sure: if anyone ever doubted the Penske/Ganassi rivalry before, Toronto may have brought things to an entirely new level. Ultimately, though, Power did apologize on Twitter for what he termed his “rant”. He leaves Toronto frustrated with how things played out and slipping further in the championship standings, but his goal is the same as ever:
Beat Dario. Get those points back. Win the championship.
Zachary Houghton runs www.indycaradvocate.com , which features regularly-updated INDYCAR, IZOD IndyCar Series, and Mazda Road to Indy interviews, commentary, and more. You can find him on Twitter at @indycaradvocate .