“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 was really looking forward to the 2014 season with Target Chip Ganassi Racing, with a goal of winning a fourth Indianapolis 500 and a fifth IndyCar Series championship.
“I’d like to thank all my fellow competitors, teammates, crew and sponsors for their incredible support over the course of this amazing ride. I’d also like to thank Hogan Racing, Team KOOL Green and Andretti Green Racing for the opportunities to compete on the racetrack, and especially Target Chip Ganassi Racing, who have become like a family to me since I joined their team back in 2008. I would be remiss if I didn’t thank all my fans around the world. I can’t thank you enough for standing by my side for all these years.”
Franchitti’s teammate, Scott Dixon, won the 2013 IndyCar Series championship, which was the 10th IndyCar, title for Target/Chip Ganassi Racing. He had spoken with Franchitti after his surgeries and was confident he would be back in the cockpit for 2014.
The team now moves forward with Dixon, Charlie Kimball and newcomer to the team Tony Kanaan. It is unclear if a fourth driver will be hired to take over the No. 10 entry at Target/Chip Ganassi Racing although Ryan Briscoe could be a driver available for that ride.
That will be solved in the coming weeks but the team is dealing with Franchitti’s career-ending decision.
“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,” team owner Chip 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.
“What’s both impressive and unique about Dario is that he has always been a student of racing, someone who not only appreciates the actual science of the sport but also the rich heritage of those racers that have gone before him. This news only serves as the start of next chapter in Dario Franchitti’s racing career – which I expect will be here with Target Chip Ganassi Racing.”