Dario Franchitti retirement

Dario Franchitti Tributes

compiled and with photos by Tim Hailey

 

 

This crash and the resulting concussion has ended Dario Franchitti's career as of 11/14/13

Popular IndyCar driver Dario Franchitti announced his retirement Nov. 14 based on recommendations from doctors due to injuries suffered in a racing accident in early October. He said he hopes to stay involved with the IndyCar Series and Target Chip Ganassi Racing in role to be determined.

"In over 100 years of racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Dario Franchitti stands in very exclusive company as just one of only ten drivers to win the Indianapolis 500 three or more times," said J. Douglas Boles, president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "Dario's competitive drive, coupled with his passion for and appreciation of the history of the Indianapolis 500 made him a fan favorite at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. But it is his willingness to invest time to promote our sport outside of the car, to mentor young drivers aspiring to drive at Indianapolis, and to interact with our fans that make him one of the all-time great champions and ambassadors of the Indianapolis 500. We will miss him competing every May, but we look forward to celebrating his accomplishments in the Indianapolis 500 for years to come."

Although retirements often don't stick, this 2012 winning wave might be Franchitti's last at Indy

"It has been said that life begins at 40, but exactly how does one follow this?" American Honda Motor Company Motorsports Manager T.E. McHale said about Franchitti's retirement. "When you take a moment to realize that Dario Franchitti won more races for Honda than any driver in the history of American open-wheel racing – in a fraternity which includes the likes of Alex Zanardi, Gil de Ferran, Paul Tracy, Tony Kanaan, Dan Wheldon and reigning INDYCAR champion Scott Dixon – you begin to come to some small understanding of what he has meant to American Honda and its racing program.

“Every one of Dario's 31 Indy car victories, 33 Indy car poles, three Indianapolis 500 victories and four Indy car championships was recorded with Honda power. Still, as monumental as those achievements may be, they tell no more than half of the story. Over 16 seasons of driving for Honda, Dario was an exemplary ambassador for the brand; I daresay he made scores of friends here of which he isn't even aware. We salute him for his many accomplishments, pay tribute to him as a true legend of this sport, and wish him every good thing imaginable as he moves into life's next act."

 

The Target car caught up a few fans in its wake as it tried to exit the temporary Houston circuit

Fans can pay tribute to Franchitti through a new hashtag-based campaign on social media. Fans are encouraged to send their personal messages, including the hashtag #ThankYouDario, to celebrate Franchitti's incredible career, which included three Indianapolis 500 victories and four IndyCar Series championships. Messages can be posted on any of these three popular social media platforms through Saturday, Nov. 23:

•Posting a tweet including #ThankYouDario on Twitter.

•Posting a message including #ThankYouDario on Facebook.

•Posting a photo and message including #ThankYouDario on Instagram.

Fans without social media accounts may visit www.ims.com/ThankYouDario to post their words of appreciation. All of the fan-submitted messages will be collected into a book that will be presented to Franchitti.

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