The surprise retirement of Dario Franchitti took the IndyCar world by surprise on Thursday afternoon. Outside of his brief 2008 foray into NASCAR, Franchitti has been a constant fixture in the Indy paddock, winning four championships and 31 victories, including three Indianapolis 500s.
While his Oct. 6 crash was violent and gave the respected veteran a variety of injuries to his spine, skull and right ankle, it was assumed that Franchitti would make a full recovery and make a beeline back to the track in time for season-opener at St. Petersburg on Mar. 30.
While Franchitti will make a full recovery, it will not allow him to resume his driving career as his doctors are concerned about the potential for repeat injuries to his spine and brain. The IndyCar community responded with both shock and an offering of respect for a career that will go down as one of the greatest of all-time.
@dariofranchitti gutted. Amazing teammate and a legend in sport. Stoked to say your a BFF :) luv ya pal— Scott Dixon (@scottdixon9) November 14, 2013
@dariofranchitti no way!! I'm honor to share the track and race with u my friend!— Helio Castroneves (@h3lio) November 14, 2013