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David Letterman, Dario Franchitti revisit Indy 500's final lap

June 05, 2012

Late-night television host David Letterman routinely has the winner of the Indianapolis 500 as a guest on his show, but this time there was a wrinkle.

Letterman co-owns the IndyCar team Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, whose driver Takuma Sato tried to pass Dario Franchitti as they entered the final lap of this year's race.

But Sato lost control, hit the wall and Franchitti had his third Indy 500 victory along with its $2.47-million winner's prize.

There was lots of second-guessing about the ill-fated pass attempt, with some suggesting the Japanese driver should have waited until later on the last lap to make his move.

On "Late Show With David Letterman" on Monday night, Letterman asked Franchitti what he thought. Sato "did everything right," Franchitti said. "He made a good move, he just didn't get far enough alongside [me]."

As for whether Sato should have tried the pass later, Franchitti said "He had to go for it. I've had a lot of people say, 'Oh, he should have waited until the backstretch, [until] Turn 2.' He had a run, and had he backed out of that run the race was over."

Letterman also debunked suggestions that Franchitti did not give Sato enough room. "You're kidding me," Letterman said. "You're leading the Indianapolis 500 [and] you're going to hold the door open for somebody?"

Then Letterman added: "This is hard for me to say, because I'd be counting the big money now if I had [won]."


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