BY DAVE GRAYSON
Indy Car Series champion, and three time Indianapolis 500 champion, announced his retirement from racing based on some serious injuries sustained from a racing accident last month. Franchitti, 40, suffered a fractured spine, a broken ankle and concussion after a serious crash in Houston, Texas on Oct 6.
In an emotionally charged statement, Franchitti said: “one month removed from the crash and based upon the expert advice of the doctors who have treated and assessed my head and spinal injuries post accident, it is their best medical opinion that I must stop racing. They have made it very clear that the risks involved in further racing are too great and could be detrimental to my long term well-being. Based on this medical advice, I have no choice but to stop.”
“Racing has been my life for over 30 years and it’s really tough to think that the driving side is now over. “I’ll forever look back on my time racing in CART and the Indy Car Series with fond memories and the relationships I’ve forged in the sport will last a lifetime,” he added.
Also this afternoon, Franchitti’s long time team, Target Chip Ganassi Racing issued the following statement: “Dario Franchitti has done so much for Target Chip Ganassi Racing so it will be very disappointing to not see him in our cars next season. Simply put, Dario is a motorsports legend and will be sorely missed on the race track, by everyone in the paddock and in the stands. His contributions to the sport of motor racing are too many to list but I can tell you that they go way beyond what he has done on the track.”
Franchitti’s incredible Indy Car Series career included four series championships, a feat that is second only to the legendary A J Foyt, along with three Indianapolis 500 victories and 31 series wins in 265 starts. He’s also just one of five drivers to win the Indy 500 and the series championship in the same season more than one time.