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October 10, 2013 | By Dave Lewandowski
Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver Dario Franchitti was released from Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center in Houston on Oct. 10 and will be transported to Indianapolis for evaluation.
The four-time IZOD IndyCar Series champion and three-time Indianapolis 500 winner will undergo a second surgery on his right ankle, which was fractured in a final-lap incident Oct. 6 of Race 2 of the Shell and Pennsoil Grand Prix of Houston. He had surgery a few hours after the crash to stabilize the ankle.
Franchitti also suffered a concussion and fractured vertebrae that will not require surgery, according to INDYCAR medical director Dr. Michael Olinger.
Dario Franchitti“I’m overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and I’m thankful to have such a great family and such wonderful friends and fans," Franchitti said. "Thanks to everyone at the hospital and the track who took such good care of me during my stay in Houston."
The team announced Oct. 9 that veteran Indy car driver Alex Tagliani would substitute for Frachitti in the No. 10 entry in the MAVTV 500 INDYCAR World Championships season finale Oct. 19 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. Teammate Scott Dixon, who finish first and second in the 90-lap races on the Houston circuit, seeks to claim his third series title in the 250-lap twilight race.
"I look forward to watching Scott, Alex and the Target team next weekend on television, and will be pulling for them as they go for another championship,” Franchitti added.
The race will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network.
"He seems to be in good spirits," Dixon said. "Just sad he won't be my teammate come next weekend to try and finish this out."