Franchitti unsure about future
|By Diego Mejia||Friday, July 11th 2008, 00:10 GMT|
Dario Franchitti is undecided about his future and expects to weigh up his options in the next couple of weeks following a crucial meeting with Chip Ganassi on Friday.
The Scot said it was a big shock for him to learn his Sprint Cup team was shutting down just halfway through his debut season, especially because he felt he was running a lot better since he returned to the car following his ankle injury.
"It was a big shock that it happened," Franchitti said. "Myself and 70 people lost their job down in Concord so a lot of people are upset right now. I understand that if there's no money there is no money.
"The timing of these things are never good. You never pick the right time I guess but it's particularly frustrating because we really felt that we were getting a hold of it.
"The team as a whole struggled with it at the start of the year and I struggled with learning the ropes but since I came back from my broken ankle I really felt, in comparison to my teammates, we were running as well if not better at certainly Pocono, Michigan and Loudon.
"Obviously didn't qualify at Sonoma but at those other three races I felt like we made a lot of progress. But in keeping with what happened this season, if it could go wrong it did go wrong."
Franchitti said it would be a shame to quit NASCAR after committing to a stock-car career last year following his IRL IndyCar series title. However he admitted that he would eventually have to call it a day if he doesn't get the right opportunity to keep it going.
"It would be a shame to quit now," said Franchitti. "I've won in every type of car that I've ever driven and I'd really like to be able to continue that but if I can't get the right opportunity then I'll look elsewhere for sure.
"At this point there are a lot of things out there that excite me. We'll see next week and moving forward."
The 35-year-old said he would consider racing for a different team in NASCAR but first he will look at what Chip Ganassi has to offer him when they meet on Friday at Chicagoland Speedway.
"We're starting to look around, starting to talk," Franchitti said. "But really nothing is going to happen until I speak to Chip [Ganassi, car owner] tomorrow and see what his position is, see what his plan is for the future and see if it's something that I'm interested in then I can make a decision.
"I certainly owe Chip that much and then we'll go from there."
Last year's Indy 500 winner said that he feels his time in Indy cars is behind him already but once again he didn't rule out completely an eventual return to the series, although he would lament ditching all the progress he has made this year in NASCAR.
"I'll have to have a long, hard thought process about getting back in an IndyCar because, like I say, I loved my time there," he said. "I really enjoyed it but I was ready at the end of last year to do something else.
"But never say never. I might decide that's something I want to do again but I really don't know right now. It would be a shame to waste everything that I've learned in six months and the progress that I've made. It'd be a shame to waste that."
Franchitti ruled out racing in the Nationwide Series again next week at Gateway, where Reed Sorenson will drive the car after winning there last year. He said he expects to ponder his options for the rest of the season in the next couple of weeks.
"I haven't really weighed anything up yet because of the fact that I don't know what the options are. The next couple of weeks I'm going to put together those options and go from there but right now I don't know."