NASCAR

Franchitti blows engine, out of race at Iowa

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NEWTON, Iowa (AP)

Pole sitter Dario Franchitti was knocked out of the IndyCar race Saturday night in Iowa after his engine blew out before the green flag dropped.

Franchitti's car started smoking on the backstretch, just after a caution flag came out because of issues with Alex Tagliani's car. Franchitti says the engine, which he used to win the Indianapolis 500 in May, was making strange noise before it went out.

It's the first time Franchitti has failed to finish back-to-back races since the last event of 2004 and the first one of 2005.

Franchitti, the three-time defending series champion, started the race in seventh place and will likely drop further because of the setback.

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