INDIANAPOLIS - Dario Franchitti held off a last lap pass attempt by Takuma Sato to win his third Indianapolis 500 on Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Sato lost control, spun and crashed while trying to make the pass.
Franchitti, driving for Target Chip Ganassi Racing, traded the lead for several laps with teammate Scott Dixon and good friend Tony Kanaan in the final 10 laps.
Dixon finished second and Kanaan third. Oriol Servia was fourth and pole-sitter Ryan Briscoe fifth. Sato ended up in 17th place.
On a day that featured several salutes to the last year's winner, the late Dan Wheldon, three of his closest friends battled at the end. Franchitti and Kanaan were teammates of Wheldon when they drove for Andretti Green Racing a few years ago. Dixon was also a close friend.
Franchitti dedicated the win to Wheldon immediately afterward. Franchitti also won in 2007 and 2010.
"What a race," Franchitti said in a television interview immediately afterward. "DW would be proud of that one."
Kanaan said he was glad one of Wheldon's friends ended up with the win.
"His three best friends were fighting for the win, odds are one of us would do it," Kanaan said. "I tried everything I could to do it. I haven't done it yet. To lose this one, like this, is an honor."
Sato, driving for Rahal Letterman Racing, surprised some by driving into contention throughout the day.
Sato said Franchitti didn't give him enough room to pass at the end.
"There was nowhere to go." Sato said. "I'm a little disappointed."
It was a record-setting race, with new marks for number of passes (35) with 10 drivers holding the lead.
Marco Andretti had the momentum early, leading 40 of the first 65 laps. In his previous Indys combined, Andretti had led only 31 laps.
But he would reach a frustration point in the last half of the race, unable to get the kind of fuel mileage to stay with the leaders. However, he had one last charge left, but went down too low on the white line and slid into the wall to end his day on Lap 187.