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22.03.2019 03:21
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Dario Franchitti kept racing after the death of best friend Greg Moore. He continued on following the death of former teammate Dan Wheldon. He was eager to drive into his early 40s. He wont get the chance. The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner and four-time IndyCar Series champion reluctantly and abruptly retired Thursday, saying doctors told him it would be too dangerous for him to continue racing because of injuries sustained in a harrowing crash last month. "Racing has been my life for over 30 years, and its really tough to think that the driving side is now over," Franchitti said. Franchitti fractured his spine, broke his right ankle and suffered a concussion in the Oct. 6 race at Houston, where his car made contact with Takuma Satos car on the last lap and sailed into a fence. Debris from the accident injured 13 fans in the grandstands and one IndyCar official. The 40-year-old Franchitti underwent two surgeries on his ankle and recently returned home to Scotland to recover. "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. "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 did not use the word "retire" in a lengthy statement released through Target Chip Ganassi Racing, the team he joined in 2009 following a brief stint in NASCAR with Ganassi a year earlier. Franchitti was unstoppable upon his return to IndyCar. Teamed with Ganassi and driving the feared red No. 10 Target car, Franchitti reeled off three consecutive championships and won 12 races. Two of the wins were Indy 500s. He became the face of the series -- Franchitti always had crossover appeal for IndyCar thanks to an 11-year marriage to actress Ashley Judd, which ended in January -- because he was personable, well-spoken, popular in the paddock and passionate about the sport. It resonated with fans and made Franchitti one of IndyCars all-time greats. His 31 victories are tied for eighth on the all-time list, and his 33 poles are sixth. "Dario Franchitti has done so much for Target Chip Ganassi Racing, so it will be very disappointing to not see him in our cars next season," Ganassi said. "But simply put, Dario is a motorsports legend and will be sorely missed on the race track by everyone in the paddock and in the stands. His contributions to the sport of motor racing are too many to list, but I can tell you that they go way beyond what he has done on the track." Asked on Twitter if Franchitti had indeed retired, Judd replied: "Yes, with an extraordinary career, legendary achievements, aplomb & style." Franchittis last victory was the 2012 Indy 500, an emotional race that came seven months after defending winner Wheldon had been killed in a crash at Las Vegas. Franchitti battled teammate Scott Dixon over the final third of the race, jockeyed with Sato in the closing laps until Sato spun to bring out a caution, and led Dixon and Tony Kanaan across the finish line as three of Wheldons closest friends finished 1-2-3. It was a poignant moment for Franchitti, who was too familiar with death in the sport he loved. Moore died in the 1999 season finale at Fontana, and Franchitti to this day remains deeply affected by the loss. "Ill forever look back on my time racing in CART and the IndyCar Series with fond memories and the relationships Ive forged in the sport will last a lifetime," he said. "Hopefully in time, Ill be able to continue in some off-track capacity with the IndyCar Series. I love open-wheel racing and I want to see it succeed. Ill be working with Chip to see how I can stay involved with the team, and with all the amazing friends Ive made over the years at Target. "As my buddy Greg Moore would say, See you up front." Word of Franchittis decision spread quickly and drivers who never raced against him reacted with sadness. "I think to have him around and on the circuit is far better than him going an injuring himself again against doctors advice," said Nigel Mansell, who was at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, for this weekends Formula One race. But those closest to Franchitti were most affected. "Dario was a hell of a driver and will be missed -- missed by everyone in racing around the world," said 1963 Indy 500 winner Parnelli Jones. "He was my kind of guy. He wasnt afraid to put his foot down and go. It is really hard to believe that he had to give up racing, I know would he would have won more races, and maybe Indy a couple more times, had he been able to continue driving." Michael Andretti, who fielded Franchittis car for his first Indy 500 victory and first series championship in 2007, said he was shocked. "I thought he had one good year left in him, and I know he wanted to race beyond IndyCar," Andretti said. "So thats what I feel most bad about -- hes being parked by a doctor. Hes not going to be able to race the sports car stuff he had talked about. He wont race with his brother (Marino), Le Mans, all the things he wanted to fulfil." Dixon, who won the 2008 championship while Franchitti was in NASCAR, called his teammate a motorsports legend. "More importantly, I can call him a best friend," Dixon said. "There are very few people that have achieved as much in auto racing and knowing Dario, he wont go far as IndyCar racing is in his blood and I am sure he will stay involved somehow." Franchitti had lured good friend and former Andretti teammate Kanaan to the Ganassi stable for 2014, an announcement that was made at Houston two days before Franchittis accident. Kanaan said he was counting the days "to be his teammate again," but is grateful Franchitti will still be in the IndyCar paddock next season. "As much as it hurts not seeing him compete with me in IndyCar, Im delighted that he got out of that accident and is still here with us," Kanaan said. Franchitti defeated Will Power three consecutive years to win the IndyCar championship and the two developed a rare rivalry for the series. "We had some real battles out on the track over the last few years and I appreciated how fierce of a competitor he was," Power said. "His accomplishments in IndyCar are incredible and the sport will definitely miss him." His retirement leaves Helio Castroneves as the only active three-time Indy 500 winner trying to join A.J. Foyt, Rick Mears and Al Unser Sr. as a four-time winner. "I know he will continue to be a great ambassador for our sport and Im sure Dario has a lot more to contribute to racing, it will just be in a different way than driving an IndyCar," Castroneves said. Foyt, the only driver with more IndyCar titles than Franchitti with seven, said: "If the doctors tell him he should quit then he should listen to them. Im the opposite and never would listen, but I probably would have been a lot better off if I did. But Darios won a lot of races and championships so he has a lot to be proud of. My hats off to him." Franchitti could find a role with the Ganassi organization, or perhaps land in the television booth. Andretti suggested Franchitti would be a good fit as a consultant to a manufacturer. For now, everyone was still trying to adjust to the idea of racing without Franchitti on the track. "You pinch yourself everyday as firsthand you are witness to the talent, ability, work ethic and start-versus-win ratio of Dario Franchitti," Ganassi team manager Mike Hull said. "Having Dario represent all of us is whats right about motorsports. His representation of the integrity of a true champion is what sets him apart." Balenciaga Sneakers Discount . Louis, MO (SportsNetwork. Balenciaga Uk Website . -- Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf has been suspended two games for his hit from behind on Kevan Miller of the Bruins. http://www.balenciagaoutletuk.com/. Dumont, a fifth round draft pick of the Canadiens in 2009, has four assists and 20 penalty minutes in 12 games with the Bulldogs this season. The 23-year-old split last season between Hamilton and Montreal, recording 16 goals and 15 assists in 55 regular season games with the Bulldogs. Balenciaga Sneakers Wholesale . Showing more spark after not taking enough challenging shots on goal in their 1-0 loss Friday night, the Bruins had 18 shots in the first period after managing just 25 in the entire opener. Luke Glendening cut Bostons lead to 2-1 at 13:20 of the second period before Milan Lucic scored late in the second and Zdeno Chara added a power-play goal early in the third. Balenciaga Sneakers Buy Uk ." One game is checked off, 15 remain and the next one to get crossed out could come Tuesday night when the defending champion Heat host the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference playoff series.(SportsNetwork.com) - The Texas Rangers try to put an end to a three-game slide Saturday as they clash with the Toronto Blue Jays in the second of a three-game set at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Drew Hutchison went the distance for the Jays, walking one and fanning six as he picked up his second win of the campaign. "He was tremendous," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of his starting pitcher. "He went toe to toe with [Darvish], matched him, and ended up getting the win. It was a battle on both sides. Both guys were really good." Now batting .320 on the season, Melky Cabrera knocked in both runs for the visitors and drew a pair of walks, helping to offset the performances of Jose Bautista and Brett Lawrie at the plate as they each struck out three times for a squad that is sitting in third place in the AL East, trailing both Baltimore and the Yankees entering play on Saturday. The shutout was the seventh of the season for the Toronto staff, second-most in the American League behind only Texas which has notched nine in just 42 contests. The first seven-game winner in the majors heads back to the mound this evening as Mark Buehrle takes the ball for the visiting Jays. Outside of an 8-1 loss to Boston late last month, Buehrle has been virtually untouchable with his 2.04 ERA over the course of 53 innings. The left-hander is currently riding a three-game win streak, thanks to a victory against the LA Angels earlier this week. Buehrle lasted a total of six innings, giving up two runs on six hits and an uncharacteristic five walks, but still came out on the right side of the 7-3 decision. Now in his 115th major league campaign, Buehrle has a career mark of 13-5 and a 3.dddddddddddd14 ERA in 22 total games versus Texas. Now six games off the pace in the American League West where they are fourth in the division standings, the Rangers were shut out for the second time in the last three outings on Friday night in the series opener, 2-0, marking the clubs fifth loss in six tries. Texas managed a mere three hits last night, one each by Adrian Beltre, Leonys Martin and Rougned Odor, wasting another strong outing by hurler Yu Darvish who allowed just two runs on five hits and struck out 11 over eight innings of work. "Offensively were capable of doing a lot of damage," noted Texas outfielder Alex Rios after the outing. "Were not there yet. Were all still positive and believe we can do damage. But its a little frustrating when were not seeing the real power of our offense." As for the Rangers, theyll hand the ball to Robbie Ross Jr. Also a left- hander, Ross has been saddled with four defeats in his last five outings, the most recent of those coming against Boston at home on Sunday. For the third time in a row Ross was tagged for at least five runs, based on six hits and a couple of walks through 6 2/3 innings. Just three seasons into his major league career, Ross has yet to register a decision versus Toronto, even though this will be his sixth appearance against the club all-time. Toronto, which captured six wins in seven meetings last season versus the Rangers, is tops in the AL in home runs at the moment with 56 through 43 games, while Texas is second from the bottom with just 26. ' ' '

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