October 06, 2013  |   By Dave Lewandowski - Indycar.com

Franchitti admitted awake, alert to Houston hospital

HOUSTON -- Dario Franchitti underwent surgery Oct. 6 to stabilize a fracture to his right ankle, hours after being admitted awake and alert to Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center following a final-lap crash in Race 2 of the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston.

The four-time IZOD IndyCar Series champion and three-time Indianapolis 500 winner also suffered two spinal fractures that did not require surgery and a concussion.

The Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver will remain in Houston for a few days and then will be transported to Indianapolis for further evaluation.

Additionally, an INDYCAR official and two spectators were transported to a local hospital for evaluation.

“Thank you to everyone for all the well wishes," Franchitti said. "They mean a lot to me. I would also like to send my best to all the fans involved in the accident and hope that everyone is alright.”

INDYCAR issued the following statement Oct. 7: Our thoughts remain with everyone affected by yesterday's accident. Thank you to the people of Houston for their support of the Grand Prix and their concern for Dario Franchitti, the fans and race personnel. INDYCAR is thoroughly reviewing the incident. Reducing the risks that are associated with racing is one of our highest priorities and receives our constant and on-going focus.

Franchitti was involved in contact with the No. 14 ABC Supply car driven by Takuma Sato in Turn 5 while they were contesting for eighth place on the final lap of Race 2 of the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston. The No. 5 Team Venezuela/PDVSA/CITGO car driven by E.J. Viso was caught up in the incident.

Sato and Viso were evaluated on the scene and released.

 

 

Franchitti, driving the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car, is eighth in the series standings entering the MAVTV 500 INDYCAR World Championships on Oct. 19 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.