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Franchitti 10th driver to win 500 three times

Posted at 5:30 PM, May 24, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis was the place to be in 2012.

The energy was electric for Super Bowl 46.

For the first time, Indianapolis hosted the big game. The showdown between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots.

All eyes were on Indiana for the Super Bowl, but our state also made national headlines that year for another reason.

In March, a tragic day for small towns in southern Indiana.

Severe storms killed 14 people.

A massive tornado ripped through Henryville, destroying the town's high school.

It would inspire Hoosiers from around the state to help our neighbors to the south rebuild.

The skies were clear and blue as race day arrived in May.

But hearts were heavy as Dan Wheldon's car took a slow ceremonial lap around the track.

The reigning 500 champion was killed in a racing crash just months after his second 500 victory.

Jim Nabors was there in spirit, but not in person.

Still, he carried on the tradition of singing "Back Home Again in Indiana."

Illness kept him from traveling, but he led the crowd in a taped version of the legendary song on the big screen.

After the green flag dropped, the lead changed hands a record 34 times, nine of them during the last 29 laps alone.

Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti battled with their friend Tony Kanaan.

But Franchitti was on target and it led to a dramatic finish.

On the final lap, Takuma Sato challenged Franchitti for the lead, Sato spun out, and hit the wall.

That finish put Franchitti in an elite group. He became the 10th driver in the history of the race to win the 500 three times.

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