Dario Franchitti forced to end racing career after IndyCar crash

Dario Franchitti has announced his immediate retirement from racing on medical advice following his Houston IndyCar crash

Dario Franchitti forced to end racing career after IndyCar crash

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner and four-time IndyCar champion sustained spinal injuries, concussion, and fractures to his ankle in a crash when his Ganassi car flew into the catch fencing in the accident last month.

"Since my racing accident in Houston, I have been in the expert care of some of the leading doctors and nurses, all of whom have made my health, my safety and my recovery their top priority," said the 40-year-old in a statement.

"I am eternally grateful for the medical care I have received over the last several weeks. I'd also like to thank my family and friends for their unbelievable support.

"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 was really looking forward to the 2014 season with Chip Ganassi Racing, with a goal of winning a fourth Indianapolis 500 and a fifth IndyCar Series championship."

OFF-TRACK ROLE MOOTED

Franchitti said that he was exploring ways to remain involved with the sport in the future.

"Hopefully in time, I'll be able to continue in some off-track capacity with the IndyCar Series," he said. "I love open-wheel racing and I want to see it succeed. I'll be working with [team owner] Chip [Ganassi] to see how I can stay involved with the team. As my buddy Greg Moore would say, 'See you up front.'"

Ganassi paid tribute to the Scot, who ends his career with 31 victories, putting him equal eighth on the all-time list, and 33 poles.

"Dario Franchitti has done so much for Chip Ganassi Racing so it will be very disappointing to not see him in our cars next season," Ganassi said.

"But 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.

"What's both impressive and unique about Dario is that he has always been a student of racing, someone who not only appreciates the actual science of the sport but also the rich heritage of those racers that have gone before him.

"This news only serves as the start of next chapter in Dario Franchitti's racing career - which I expect will be here with Chip Ganassi Racing."

FRANCHITTI'S US RACING CAREER

IndyCar champion 2007/'09-11
Indianapolis 500 winner 2007/10/12

Combined IndyCar/CART Champ Car stats:

Starts: 266
Wins: 31
Podiums: 92
Poles: 35
Fastest laps: 23

Milestones:

1997: Switches to CART with Hogan Racing after end of International Touring Car Championship, in which he had raced for Mercedes. Takes pole in Toronto.

1998: Leaves Hogan for Team Green and takes first victories.

1999: Finishes season level on points with champion Juan Pablo Montoya but loses title on tiebreak.

2003: Moves to IRL IndyCar with renamed Andretti Green team but forced to miss most of season with back injuries from motorcycle crash.

2007: Claims first title and Indy 500 then leaves IndyCar for Ganassi's NASCAR Sprint Cup programme.

2008: Breaks ankle early in unsuccessful NASCAR stint. Back to IndyCar with Ganassi at end of year.

2009-11: Wins three straight IndyCar titles with Ganassi.

shares
comments
IndyCar alters test rules for 2014, including Lights driver bonus

Previous article

IndyCar alters test rules for 2014, including Lights driver bonus

Next article

Motor racing world hails Dario Franchitti as he is forced to retire

Motor racing world hails Dario Franchitti as he is forced to retire
Load comments
Why IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still far from over Plus

Why IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still far from over

OPINION: The 2021 IndyCar silly season has been one of the silliest for many years, as many talented drivers remain in play – with new pieces to the puzzle being added all the time. Here's what we know so far about who will end up where in 2022

IndyCar
Sep 15, 2021
Why IndyCar's generational shift isn't as stark as it appears Plus

Why IndyCar's generational shift isn't as stark as it appears

OPINION: The rise of two drivers racing only their second full-season IndyCar campaigns to head the points with four races to go has led to some observers doubting the credentials of the old guard. But they haven't faded away, there's merely a deeper talent pool that is helping to make this season one of the best in recent years

IndyCar
Aug 20, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Plus

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
The lasting legacy of a fallen Indycar rookie Plus

The lasting legacy of a fallen Indycar rookie

Jeff Krosnoff was plucked out of obscurity to become a respected and highly popular professional in Japan, and then got his big break in Indycar for 1996. But a tragic accident at Toronto 25 years ago cut short a promising career and curtailed his regular team-mate Mauro Martini's passion for racing

IndyCar
Jul 14, 2021
The two key areas where Dixon needs to re-assert his authority Plus

The two key areas where Dixon needs to re-assert his authority

OPINION: Having been Chip Ganassi Racing's IndyCar focal point for the best part of a decade, Scott Dixon has been so far outgunned by new team-mate Alex Palou in 2021. After finishing behind the Spaniard at his traditional happy hunting ground at Mid-Ohio, Dixon has work to do to assume his traditional position in the team and the standings

IndyCar
Jul 6, 2021
The winners and losers of IndyCar 2021 so far Plus

The winners and losers of IndyCar 2021 so far

At the halfway point in the 2021 IndyCar Series season, we've had seven winners in eight races, spread between five teams – none of them Team Penske. In this unusual season, even by IndyCar standards, who’s excelling and who’s dragging their heels?

IndyCar
Jun 18, 2021
Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history Plus

Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history

Helio Castroneves’ overwhelming vivaciousness outside the cockpit belies a hardcore racer who knows how to plot his moves – and then recall it all. A day after his fourth Indy 500 win, he explained his tactics

IndyCar
Jun 2, 2021
How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status Plus

How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status

Helio Castroneves joined AJ Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears with the most Indianapolis 500 wins after edging past Alex Palou on the penultimate lap of a thrilling race that validated Michael Shank's faith in the veteran Brazilian - who is discovering that there is life after Penske after all

IndyCar
Jun 1, 2021