- Dario Franchitti has announced his retirement from racing.
- The three-time Indy 500 winner suffered back, ankle and head injuries in a crash October 6 at Houston.
- Franchitti, 40, is a three-time Indianapolis 500 winner.
INDIANAPOLIS — Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti has announced his retirement from racing, on the advice of doctors in the aftermath of his crash in Houston October 6.
Franchitti, 40, fractured two vertebrae, broke his right ankle and suffered a concussion in the crash during the Houston Grand Prix. An IndyCar official and 13 spectators were injured by debris when Franchitti's car went airborne and flew into a catch fence.
The racer underwent initial surgery at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center and then had further procedures at an Indianapolis hospital. He is now in his native Scotland, where he is continuing his recovery.
"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," Franchitti said in a statement released by his team, Target Chip Ganassi Racing. "Based on this medical advice, I have no choice but to stop."
Franchitti, who lost the CART championship in 1999 to Juan Montoya in a tie-breaker, won four titles in the IndyCar series, including three straight from 2009-'11. He won 31 races in both open-wheel series.
He made an attempt to move to NASCAR in 2008, but suffered a broken ankle and owner Ganassi shut down the team prior to the end of the season. Franchitti returned to IndyCar racing and promptly strung together the three championship titles.
"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," Ganassi said.
Ganassi called Franchitti "a motorsports legend" and said, "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 was profoundly affected by the death of his good friend Dan Wheldon in an October 2011 crash at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and was active in the development of the new IndyCar chassis that went into use after Wheldon's death.
Edmunds says: Franchitti is deserving of the "legend" status Ganassi conferred on him. He may very well remain in the sport in some other capacity, but his driving talents will be missed.