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Franchitti forced to retire after Houston injuries (VIDEO)

Nov 14, 2013, 3:23 PM EDT

Dario Franchitti has announced that as a result of his injuries suffered at Houston in October, he will be forced to stop his racing career.

Franchitti will leave IndyCar racing after four championships and three Indianapolis 500 victories.

Here’s his statement in full, released on the Target Chip Ganassi Racing website:

“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.’”

UPDATE, 2:00 p.m. ET, Friday: NBCSN IndyCar pit reporter Marty Snider called into NBCSN’s “SportsDash” on Friday to discuss the injuries.

  1. hacpilot - Nov 14, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    Damn, He will be missed. It is sad for him and us.

  2. manik56 - Nov 14, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    Say it ain’t so!

  3. Jeff - Nov 14, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    Very sad to see him leave the driver’s seat.

  4. brentsn - Nov 14, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    Complete shock. I’m speechless.

  5. f1fan1 - Nov 14, 2013 at 6:53 PM

    Used to follow Dario when he came up in CART with Hogan and later with Team Green. Glad to hear he’s getting out of the IRL with his life intact. While most former fans of AOW view the current iteration of “indycar” as crapola, no one ever wants to see any driver get hurt (or worse).

  6. midtec2005 - Nov 14, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    Wow… sad day for racing. I’m glad I got to see him race though! You were the best Dario!

  7. snoopyo - Nov 14, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    This kinda reminds me of when Rick Mears retired in a way. Mears had the ugly wreck at Sanair in 84 then the other big one in 92 sliding down the backsretch on his head and said enough was enough and Dario had the two wrecks when he got airborne and then this one in Houston, but on this one the doctors said he shouldn’t and its the right decision if they say its not good. The guy had lost two of his best friends Greg Moore( one of my all-time favorites)and Dan and he didn’t need to be out there risking it if the doctors said he shouldn’t. Had a heck of a career.

  8. randominternetpunter - Nov 14, 2013 at 10:59 PM

    Well, on the bright side, NBCSN and/or ABC now have the best possible color commentator…Get him in the booth!!

  9. worknman24hours - Nov 14, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    For Dario to step away, the doctors must have said something like,

    “You were a tenth of an inch away from dead here and the injury you have can be dislodged by another bad accident.”

    Dario’s last noted comment here is cryptic.

    Greg Moore died in a similar high speed rolling type accident, one of the most unsurvivable racing accidents ever recorded which occurred at a much higher speed then Dario’s did.

    For Dario to have mentioned his Greg like this means Dario knows he’s faced death as many times he feels he can and get away with that alive.

    Dario shows his brilliance he displayed his entire racing career again by seeing this moment for what it is and being smart enough to know when to move on to more challenges that await him out of the car at trackside as a vital part of team management or wherever life may lead him.

    Nice to know Dario will be well enough to enjoy that new life.

    Salute.

  10. snoopyo - Nov 16, 2013 at 12:31 AM

    Greg Moore brings back so many great memories. Its such a shame he never got to show what he could really do. He was stuck with the Mercedes which was not as strong as the Honda or even the Ford but Greg made up for it with his talent. When he signed with Penske he was going to be the guy to beat and he would have given, Tracy, Andretti, Montoya, Dario, Fernandez, and De Matta constant beatdowns in 2000.

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