ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Two-time defending series champion Dario Franchitti has won IndyCar's season opener, showing he's once again the one to beat in open-wheel racing.
Franchitti took the lead early on Sunday and was hardly challenged in the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. The Scottish driver was nearly perfect for 100 laps on the scenic, 1.8-mile street course, beating pole-sitter Will Power to the finish line by more than seven seconds.
Tony Kanaan, the 2004 series champion who joined his new team Monday, held off Simona de Silvestro over the final few laps for third. De Silvestro enjoyed her best finish in 18 career starts.
Danica Patrick was 12th, a disappointing start to her seventh IndyCar season. She was penalized one spot on the final lap for making "avoidable contact."