TORONTO - Facing red-hot temperatures and tempers to match, Dario Franchitti kept his cool - and it paid off with a checkered flag.

The Scottish driver overcame a rough early pit stop and took advantage of a late crash between Helio Castroneves and Toronto's Paul Tracy en route to victory Sunday at the Honda Indy Toronto.

It's the second career victory in Toronto for Franchitti, who outpaced Australia's Ryan Briscoe by more than a second-and-a-half on the 1.755-mile temporary street course at Exhibition Place. Another Aussie, Will Power, finished third.

Franchitti had been stung by the challenging Toronto course before, and wasn't about to be victimized again.

"I remember '98, when I had a massive lead and made a mistake pushing too hard," said Franchitti, who overtook Scott Dixon for the overall points lead. "I lost the brakes going into (Turn) 1, but had I not been pushing so hard in '98, I wouldn't have had the problem.

"I got out to a lead that I was pretty happy with, and I was controlling the pace from there, not pushing too hard. There was a couple of instances today I felt if I'd have taken a bigger risk, I would have ended up with a bent race car."

The two Canadians in the field were involved in the two biggest incidents on a sunny but humid day at Exhibition Place.

Tracy's No. 15 KV Racing car was crunched into the wall following a collision with Castroneves on Lap 66. Tracy was attempting to pass Castroneves for second place when he made contact with the Brazilian driver, who then swerved back into Tracy, mashing him up against the barrier.

Tracy had mixed emotions after the race.

"I'm relieved and I'm frustrated, and I'm also happy that we put on a great show," said Tracy, a two-time winner in Toronto. "To come from 15th and to pass the guys that I passed was a good feeling. Nobody else was doing that on the track other than me, so I'm happy that I ran well but the end result, I felt we should have been on the podium. Or maybe a win. So it's disappointing.

"We'll move on and take the positives from this and move on to Edmonton."

Castroneves was lustily booed by the pro-Tracy crowd.

"It's too bad," said Castroneves. "If there's one guy that I didn't want that to happen with, it's PT, especially here in Canada.

"I feel bad for the fans. They were great and I still love Toronto."

Alex Tagliani of Lachenaie, Que., also had an eventful race.

The Conquest Racing driver led for 21 laps of the race, but wound up ninth - and nearly suffered the same fate as Tracy after running into Tomas Scheckter in a dust-up on Lap 74. Tagliani remained in the race, but Scheckter did not - prompting the angry South African to throw his racing gloves at Tagliani's car the next time the Canadian passed him.

Tagliani said he was trying to pass Scheckter but ran out of room.

"I got in there, and the door shut off like a funnel," said Tagliani. "We got caught in a racing incident.

"Everybody was blocking the inside, and they want to keep squeezing you to the inside, and there's no room."

Scheckter was still livid after the race.

"We just dug deep and drove a hard race the whole race, and just a stupid mistake by Tagliani just to hit me straight up from behind," said Scheckter. "I passed him and then I got hit from behind.

"Just uncalled for, people racing with no brains."

Franchitti put up a fantastic lap in Saturday's qualifying to earn the pole, and looked to be cruising through the first quarter of the race. But on Lap 26, he came into the pits and ended up hanging around a few seconds longer than he would have liked after his crew had trouble with a rear tire change.

That left Tagliani in the lead for the first time since a Champ Car race in San Jose two years ago. Tracy climbed to second shortly after, giving the hometown fans plenty to cheer about.

The two ran first and second again later in the race, but Tagliani dropped to 11th after a slow pit stop following a caution. Tracy ran third at that point, but an aggressive attempt to pass Castroneves ended his day prematurely.

With his main competition out of the way, Franchitti had little trouble cruising to the win. But he says he would have liked to see ex-teammate Tracy post a better result at his hometown track.

"When PT and I were up there, I was hoping he was going to get by and we were going to finish 1-2, because we did that 10 years ago as teammates," said Franchitti.

"He did a hell of a job today, and unfortunately it ended in the barriers. But he's coming back in Edmonton (in two weeks), and hopefully we'll see him full-time again because it's great to have him in the series."

For Briscoe, Sunday's result marked his fifth second-place finish in the last six races. He said he'd like to finish first for a change.

"Well, I'm trying to win," Briscoe joked. "I think in the last two races I've gained 13 points in the championship. It's not going all bad."

Notes: Danica Patrick came from 18th on the starting grid to finish sixth, her seventh top-six finish of the year. The result moved her into fifth in the overall standings with 266 points, 79 back of Castroneves. "You definitely have to be aggressive on street courses, and today we were," said Patrick. ... There were five caution flags for 15 total laps. ... Briscoe finished with the fastest lap, clocking one minute 2.2313 seconds. Briscoe averaged 101.524 m.p.h. for the lap. ... Power has made just four starts all season, but has finished no worse than sixth in all of them.

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