LOOKING BACK: Franchitti Bounces Back

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Dario Franchitti takes the checkered flag to win the 2009 Honda Indy Toronto. (IndyCar Photo)
Dario Franchitti takes the checkered flag to win the 2009 Honda Indy Toronto. (IndyCar Photo)

SPEED SPORT has been reporting on and covering motorsports happenings from all over the world for 85 years, so we thought it would be fun to take a look back in the archives to see what happened 10, 25 and 50 years ago each week.

So check out what SPEED SPORT was covering 10, 25 and 50 years ago this week in Looking Back!

10 Years Ago (July 15, 2009): Rebounding from a dismal week at Watkins Glen Int’l, Dario Franchitti bounced back to win the 85-lap IRL IndyCar Series event on the streets of Toronto. The victory in the 85-lap event slugfest was helped by a lucky break from officials, who ruled Franchitti was ahead of Paul Tracy during a timely caution flag when Franchitti was making a pit stop. The victory moved Franchitti back into the championship lead.

Other Happenings: Dave Darland, Chad Boat and Levi Jones picked up victories during Indiana Sprint Week while Bryan Clauson led the points during the week-long series; Mark Martin earned his fourth NASCAR Sprint Cup victory of the year, holding off Jeff Gordon at Chicagoland Speedway; Antron Brown, Ron Capps and Allen Johnson collected trophies during the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway.

25 Years Ago (July 13, 1994): Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Tony George announced the formation of his own racing series, the Indy Racing League. He hired Jerry Hauer to run the new series while also hinting that Indy Racing League loyalists could be guaranteed starting positions in the 1996 Indianapolis 500, which would be a part of the new IRL schedule.

Other Happenings: Ricky Rudd earned his first victory as an owner-driver, gambling on a two-tire pit stop to beat Dale Earnhardt at New Hampshire Motor Speedway; Damon Hill raced to victory in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone; Scott Pruett won the Trans-Am Series race at the Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland, Ohio; The National Transportation Safety Board released a report regarding the death of Davey Allison in a helicopter crash earlier in the year.

50 Years Ago (July 16, 1969): On the same day his daughter Barbara was born, Mario Andretti raced to victory in the 100-lap USAC National Championship race at Nazareth National Speedway. He outdistanced Gary Bettenhausen by nearly a lap, completing the race in 56 minutes and 42.25 seconds with an average speed of 105.851 mph.

Other Happenings: Bobby Unser won the Miller High Life 200 at The Milwaukee Mile; David Pearson earned a pair of victories in NASCAR Grand National action, winning events at Trenton (N.J.) Speedway and Thompson (Conn.) Speedway; Ernie Derr was the winner of the Iowa 300 stock car race at the Iowa State Fairgrounds; Bruce McLaren led a McLaren one-two finish in Can-Am action at Watkins Glen Int’l.