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Franchitti: 'My driving days are over'

2013-12-20 09:49

CAREER-ENDING CRASH: Dario Franchitti says he is recovering from his horror crash in October 2013 though his racing days are over. Image: AP


A horror crash put triple Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti in hospital and left more than a dozen spectators injured.

Three-time Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti tried to convince himself there was a way back from a career-ending head injury but all roads led to a dead end as his racing days are over.

A horrific final lap crash at the 2013 Houston Grand Prix in October left him with two spinal fractures, a concussion and a broken ankle.

Video: Dario Franchitti crashes in Houston

Speaking publicly for the first time since the crash, Franchitti said he tried to negotiate a deal with himself but discovered there was no deal to be made that would see him return to the cockpit of a race car.


Franchitti said: "I spent two days thinking, ‘Okay, how can I get around this because I have done it before?’"

"There have been quite a few broken body parts over the years and I kept thinking, there's got to be a way, some kind of negotiation here and there wasn't."

Along with his three Indy 500 titles, Franchitti claimed the IndyCar series Driver's title on four occasions, second only to AJ Foyt. He won 31 Indy Car races from 265 career starts.

Franchitti said: "I'm looking forward to the future and rather than being bummed about not getting to drive the number 10 Target car again and other things after that, I'm just very thankful for the career, for the racing I was able to do.

"I've had fun doing this, I'm looking forward to the future now. There's been some crap days, there's been some devastating days but for the last 30 years I have had a really good time."

He exited with few regrets but admitted that if he could have one more race it would be back at the famed Brickyard and a shot at a fourth Indy 500 title.

Franchitti, who was married to actress Ashley Judd for more than decade before they separated in 2013, won the Indy 500 in 2007, 2010 and 2012. The only drivers to have won more are AJ Foyt, Al Unser Sr and Rick Mears, who each won four times.

Franchitti said: "If I had to pick one race to do, Le Mans was something I wanted to do in the future but the allure of going for a fourth (Indy 500 win) would be tough to turn down.

"That's one of the hard things really...but that's the hand you're dealt isn't it."


In October 2013, Franchitti's car made contact with Japanese driver Takuma Sato. His car went airborne and destroyed a portion of the catch fence before spinning several times while debris was sprayed toward the grandstands.

After spending most of his life as a driver, Franchitti said he is now prepared to shift gears and move into the management side of the sport. The charismatic Scot also indicated he might even try his hand at television as a motor racing commentator.

Franchitti said: "I'd love to stay involved with IndyCar racing and certainly with the Target team and that is something we are working on. Hopefully that will come along soon and I can start really getting involved and working with the team.

"It's something I really want to do."
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