News from the Tennessee Valley Sports

Franchitti 17th in stock-car debut

TALLADEGA (AP) — It took Dario Franchitti less than a straightaway to know he was in foreign territory Friday at Talladega Superspeedway.

The reigning IndyCar Series champion and Indianapolis 500 winner saw the green flag wave for the start of Fridays ARCA RE/MAX 250, his stock car debut, and immediately ran out of room on the highbanked 2.66-mile oval.

You cant pass on the left in this kind of racing like you can in IndyCar and people checked up in front of me on the start and I had nowhere to go, Franchitti said, grinning. That was my first learning experience and it continued all day.

The 34-year-old Scot, driving his first race for new employer Chip Ganassi, managed to stay out of trouble throughout the 94-lap event and wound up 17th.

It was a lot of fun out there, he said. Im disappointed with the result. But what Ive learned, I dont think you can put a price on it. I learned so much today. Im looking at the long game, Im looking at next year.

Rookie Michael Annett won the race.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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