Dario Franchitti celebrates after winning his third Indianapolis 500 on May 27, 2012. (Photo: Getty Images)

celebrates after winning his third Indianapolis 500 on May 27, 2012. (Photo: Getty Images)

Target Chip Ganassi Racing announced Thursday that Dario Franchitti will no longer compete in motor sports racing, citing injuries he suffered in a crash Oct. 6.

Franchitti suffered two spinal fractures, a fractured right ankle and a concussion in a vicious crash at the Houston Grand Prix where his car went airborne and into a catchfence.

Since the crash, Franchitti has been under the care of doctors and nurses who have advised the 40-year-old Scotsman to step away from racing. The doctors pinpointed an increased risk of re-injury to Franchitti’s head and spine, which could affect his future health.

“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 in a statement released by Target Chip Ganassi 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.”

This comes as a massive loss to his fans and fellow competitors.

Franchitti won four championships in five years, including three straight titles from 2009 to 2011. Franchitti’s 31 victories are tied for eighth on the all-time list, with three of those wins coming in the Indianapolis 500. Only A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears have won the 500-miler more than Franchitti.

In 2008, Franchitti won the GRAND-AM Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. He was joined by co-drivers Scott Dixon, Memo Rojas and Juan Pablo Montoya.

However, the rest of the 2008 racing season didn’t go according to plan.

Franchitti tried his hand in NASCAR, where he had an average finish of 34.3 in 10 Sprint Cup races. He fared a bit better in the Nationwide Series that season, averaging a finish of 17.6 in 14 races, including a fifth-place finish at Watkins Glen International, before calling it quits.

Since his return to IndyCar in 2009, Franchitti has found great success with Target Chip Ganassi Racing. In the five-year stint, he has captured three titles, led over 2,100 laps and accumulated 13 victories.

Franchitti’s statistics alone make him one of IndyCar’s all-time greats, but his demeanor away from the track made him a true legend.

He’s humble, well-spoken, approachable and passionate. His positive influence resonated with fans, friends and fellow competitors every race weekend, regardless of the circumstances.

Franchitti’s presence on the grid will be sorely missed, but his impact on the series will be felt for years to come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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