Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti announced on Thursday that he would be forced to retire as a result of injuries suffered following a scary, three-car crash at the Grand Prix of Houston on October 6.
Franchitti's car went airborne on the final lap and left him with a broken right ankle, two spinal fractures and a concussion. He's had two subsequent surgeries on his ankle and recently returned to his native Scotland to recover.
“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,” the 40-year-old racer said. “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.”
Franchitti is a four-time IndyCar champion, and he won three-straight years from 2009-2011. He finishes his career with 31 career victories and 33 pole positions.
“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.”
Added Ganassi in a 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. 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.”