Dario Franchitti expects to return to Target Ganassi in 2014, won't talk retirement

Nick Laham

Dario Franchitti says he would like to return to the IndyCar Series next season and that Target and Chip Ganassi Racing are amenable to an extension.

Dario Franchitti says he would like to return to Target Chip Ganassi Racing next season but really doesn't know how long he will continue to race in the IZOD IndyCar Series.

Franchitti told reporters after the race at Mid-Ohio on Sunday that he would like to return for a 17th Indy car campaign and that his team owner Chip Ganassi and primary sponsor Target would also like to have the 40-year-old back.

For the successful tandem that has won three championships together (Franchitti won his first title with Andretti-Green), a return is just a matter of putting everything in place as the team doesn't yet have anything official to announce.

Franchitti added that he is more focused on finishing this season than looking ahead to how many more seasons he would continue to race. He noted that any decision would ultimately be made based on his performance and competition.

"Hopefully everything goes to plan, we get the deal done and we'll almost start thinking after Fontana about next year -- and then we'll see," Franchitti said.

"But I've said it a lot: If I'm competitive and if I'm enjoying it, then I'll keep doing it. Those two are pretty closely linked. If I'm not competitive, I won't be hanging around long."

Franchitti hasn't been a part of the championship discussion since 2011 and needed a late-season rally just to finish seventh last year. Another slow start to 2013 kept him out of the top-10 for much of the first half but another summer surge has seen him advance to sixth as of the Mid-Ohio race.

Franchitti made his Indy car debut in 1997 and won his first race in 2008. He missed a season in 2008 to try his hand in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He returned to IndyCar in 2009 after sponsorship woes prevented him from remaining in stock cars.

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