Franchitti announces retirement

Thu Nov 14, 2013 4:11pm EST
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By Steve Keating

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti announced his retirement on Thursday, just over a month after a terrifying crash left him with serious injuries.

The Scotsman said he was quitting the sport on medical advice following the heavy crash in Houston last month where he sustained spinal and head injuries.

"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.

"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."

Franchitti, 40, suffered a fractured spine, a broken ankle and concussion after an horrific crash in Texas on Oct 6.

His car went airborne and destroyed a portion of the catch fence before spinning several times. Debris from the wreck injured several spectators after he made contact with Japanese driver Takuma Sato on the final lap.

"Racing has been my life for over 30 years and it's really tough to think that the driving side is now over," Franchitti said.

"I'll forever look back on my time racing in CART and the IndyCar Series with fond memories and the relationships I've forged in the sport will last a lifetime."   Continued...

Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver Dario Franchitti of Scotland adjusts his driving suit during a practice session at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana May 12, 2013. REUTERS/Brent Smith