Franchitti’s contract status close, but not finalized, for 2014

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Dario Franchitti spent a moment in the Mid-Ohio press room on Sunday clarifying his contract status with Target Chip Ganassi Racing for the 2014 IndyCar season. In brief, all parties are planning on a return, but there’s no done deal yet.

“I was asked a question yesterday, would I like to come back, and I said, definitely. So the question was then changed to attached to my answer, if you know what I mean,” said Franchitti, referring to a USA Today story over the weekend which said he was confirmed back in the No. 10 Honda for next year.

“I would love to come back next year. Chip would like me to come back. Target would like me to come back. The team would like me to come back. So we are all on the same page, but we haven’t anything to announce yet.”

Franchitti has been consistent if not the outright fastest driver on the grid since Long Beach in April. Two miserable races out of the gate left him 26th and stone last in points, but top-10 finishes in 10 of the next 12 since have vaulted him up to sixth in points. His best finish is third place on three occasions (Pocono, Toronto 1, Mid-Ohio).

That aside, Franchitti’s due for a win. He hasn’t won at all since the 2012 Indianapolis 500 and his last win on a road or street course since Toronto in 2011. At Sonoma, the next round of the 2013 season, Franchitti has a win from pole (2009) and four straight top-five finishes at the Northern California permanent road course.