Four-time IndyCar Series champion and three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti announced on Thursday afternoon that he can no longer race due to injuries sustained in a crash on the Streets of Houston last month.
Franchitti fractured his spine, broke his right ankle and suffered a concussion in the second half on the Grand Prix on Houston doubleheader on Oct. 6. The accident transpired on the final lap of the race when his No. 10 Dallara-Honda made contact with another car and went flying into the catchfence.
The 40-year-old veteran driver underwent two surgeries on his broken ankle and has been recovering back home in Scotland.
In a Chip Ganassi Racing Team release, Franchitti says the decision was aided by his doctors, who told him that it was in the best interest of his health that he step away from active competition.
"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," Franchitti 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 has been the most dominant driver of the post-merger era, winning four championships since 2007 -- and three straight from 2009-2011. (The Indy Racing League and Champ Car World Series merged following the 2007 season.) In all, Franchitti has amassed 31 combined IndyCar and Champ Car victories -- best for eight on the all-time list, while his 33 poles are good for sixth all-time.
The Scot has driven for Chip Ganassi Racing since 2008 and Ganassi says Franchitti has transcended the business.
"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. "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. 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."