Dario Franchitti hopes to stay involved with Chip Ganassi Racing after retirement

Chris Trotman

Dario Franchitti is finding retirement a difficult proposition and hopes to stay involved with Chip Ganassi Racing in a management position starting next season.

Dario Franchitti wants to remain involved in IndyCar racing and with Chip Ganassi Racing, perhaps in a team role next season, now that his driving career has suddenly come to an end.

The four-time IndyCar Series champion and three-time Indianapolis 500 race winner was forced to call it quits following a violent crash on the last lap of the Grand Prix of Houston on Oct. 6. The crash sent Franchitti's famed No. 10 car into the catchfence, fracturing his back, delivered a concussion and a broken right ankle.

Following surgeries to repair his injuries, doctors advised Franchitti that he should discontinue his driving career immediately.

According to a report in RACER, Franchitti took the stage at the AUTOSPORT awards banquet on Sunday and admitted that his decision was difficult and made him look for shortcuts to get around it.

"It (retiring) wasn't an easy thing to do, it's not been an easy thing to deal with," he said.

"I spent a couple of days thinking of ways to get around it. I thought 'there's got to be a way' -- sadly it became pretty apparent pretty quickly there wasn't. It's still tough in some ways, I still think a lot about driving a car. The passion is still there to do something.

"Chip and I have talked about something next year, I'd love to work with the team in IndyCar - I just won't be behind the wheel anymore."

Franchitti took the stage on crutches and to a standing ovation said that he had no regrets about how his career played out, even if it ended prematurely.

"I've had a wonderful time, a great career. I wouldn't call it a career - it was what I loved to do," Franchitti added. "I never called it a job, it's been an absolute privilege.

"In a lot of ways I'm lucky to be here to take that decision. It's a kick in the balls but I'll move on to the next stage."

Franchitti ends an illustrious career that saw him win the three Borg Warner Trophies, four championships, 31 Indy car victories and 33 pole positions. He is perhaps the most accomplished driver of his era winning four consecutive championships from 2007-2011 while missing the 2008 season due to trying his hand at a NASCAR career.

Franchitti could be set to join AJ Foyt, Bobby Rahal, Michael Andretti and Jimmy Vasser as former ace Indy car drivers as team managers in the IndyCar Series.

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