In the wake of injuries suffered at the Grand Prix of Houston, Dario Franchitti will end his professional motorsports career.
Here is a quote from Dario taken from a press release from Chip Ganassi Racing
“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. 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 Target Chip Ganassi Racing, with a goal of winning a fourth Indianapolis 500 and a fifth IndyCar Series championship.
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’s career is highlighted by 4 series championships in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011 and 3 wins in the Indianapolis 500 in 2007, 2010 and 2012. He began racing in IndyCar in 1997 driving for Carl Hogan. In 1998 he moved on to Team KOOL Green, where he had his first taste of success. He won 10 races in a 4 year span driving for the team and was tied for the championship in 1999 with Juan Pablo Montoya, but Montoya won the championship due to having more wins.
In 2003, Team KOOL Green was bought by Michael Andretti and moved to the Indy Racing League (now known as INDYCAR), where he remained until 2007 when he won his first Indianapolis 500 and Championship. He tried a career change in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2008, where he struggled tremendously and within a year returned to open wheel driving for powerhouse Target Chip Ganassi Racing.
Driving for Ganassi is where Franchitti tasted the most of his success, winning 2 Indianapolis 500s and 3 championships.
Overall he won 31 races, placing him 8th on the all time list.
He also is the first driver to win the 12 Hours of Sebring, the Indianapolis 500, a series title and the 24 Hours of Daytona all within a 12 month span.