After suffering a near fatal accident at the Houston Grand Prix, three-time Indy 500 champion Dario Franchitti has decided to end his racing career.
Franchitti said that he is following doctors advise in reaching the difficult decision.
“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. 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.”
On October 6, Dario Franchitti was involved in a crash during the last lap of the Houston Grand Prix. His car flipped and crashed, sending debris into the stands.
The accident also injured 13 spectators, and left an IndyCar series official with minor injuries.
As a result of the crash, Franchitti suffered a broken spine, ankle, and a concussion which sent him to the hospital.
He had to undergo two surgeries on his ankle, and as of now, he is recovering at home in Scotland.
The 40-year-old has been a very visible member of the Indy family and is popular in all racing circles. In 2009, Franchitti returned to the IndyCar series after a short run in NASCAR. He then won three consecutive IndyCar titles between 2009 and 2011.
Fans and colleagues are taking to Twitter to comment on the surprising news.
— Nascar Memes (@NascarMemes) November 14, 2013
— Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) November 14, 2013
— Pocono Raceway (@poconoraceway) November 14, 2013
Dario Franchitti’s last tweet reads:
A sad day but I’m eternally grateful… pic.twitter.com/h9ozPEOf7S
— Dario Franchitti (@dariofranchitti) November 14, 2013
Franchitti is considered as one of Indy racing all-time greats for his skills and personable attitude. It also helped that he was married to Hollywood starlet Ashley Judd for 11 years. The couple divorced in January.
However, the couple appeared to have put their differences behind them when Judd rushed to Franchitti’s side after the crash.
Dario Franchitti’s is tied for eighth place on the all-time list with 31 victories, and his 33 pole positions are sixth on the all-time list.