(WOMR filw photo)
Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Dario Franchitti announced today Franchitti will be unable to continue his auto racing career.
The last race of the 2013 race season Franchitti was involved in a horrendous accident. It occurred on the last lap of the race on a street course in parking area of the Houston Astrodome and the football stadium for the Houston Texans. In that accident Franchitti’s car ran up and over a slower race car flying into the catchfence, spewing pieces and parts into the crowd, and injuring many spectators.
“Since my racing accident in Houston,” explains Franchitti, a three-time Indianapolis 500 winner and a four-timeIndyCar Series champion, “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. 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,” he said, “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 Target Chip Ganassi Racing, with a goal of winning a fourth Indianapolis 500 and a fifth IndyCar Series championship, continues Franchitti.”
“I’d like to thank all my fellow competitors, teammates, crew and sponsors for their incredible support over the course of this amazing ride. I’d also like to thank Hogan Racing, Team KOOL Green and Andretti Green Racing for the opportunities to compete on the racetrack, and especially Target Chip Ganassi Racing, who have become like a family to me since I joined their team back in 2008. I would be remiss if I didn’t thank all my fans around the world. I can’t thank you enough for standing by my side for all these years.
“I’ll forever look back on my time racing in CART and the IndyCar Series with fond memories and the relationships I’ve forged in the sport will last a lifetime.
“Hopefully in time, I’ll be able to continue in some off-track capacity with the IndyCar Series. I love open-wheel racing and I want to see it succeed. I’ll be working with Chip to see how I can stay involved with the team, and with all the amazing friends I’ve made over the years at Target.
“As my buddy Greg Moore would say, ‘See you up front ’”
Franchitti joined Target Chip Ganassi Racing in 2008, and in just five seasons delivered two Indianapolis 500 wins (2010 and 2012), the first-ever run of three-consecutive IndyCar Series titles by a Target driver (2009-2011), 13 Indy car wins, 16 pole positions and a win in the 2008 Rolex 24 At Daytona. He finished the 2013 IndyCar Series season with four podiums, seven top-five and 11 top-10 finishes, and his four pole positions were more than any other driver this season.
Franchitti ends his career with 31 Indy car wins (tied for eighth on the all-time list) and 33 poles (sixth on the all-time list).
Even though Dario is leaving the cockpit, it is safe to say that he will remain intimately involved in the open wheel racing world, one way or the other. Francitti could serve Target Chip Ganassi Racing as a mentor for the younger drivers that are associated with that organization.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDENCK