Dario Franchitti retires, citing injury from Houston wreck

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Three-time Indy 500 champion and four-time IndyCar series champion Dario Franchitti, injured in a wreck several weeks ago, has decided to retire.

"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 in a statement. "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 conceded that leaving racing in this way was difficult, but he hopes to stay involved with open-wheel racing in general and his current team in particular.

"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," said Chip Ganassi, Franchitti's team owner. "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.”

Franchitti leaves the sport a legend, with three championships from 2009-2011. He has won prestigious races across the board, including the 12 Hours of Sebring, the Indianapolis 500, an open wheel title and the Rolex 24 At Daytona consecutively. No other driver has achieved that feat in succession.

Franchitti will recover in Scotland and speak publicly at a later date.

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Jay Busbee

is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter.