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Franchitti awake, alert in hospital

The SportsXchange

Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti is awake and alert at Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center in Houston, IndyCar announced Monday.

Franchitti was taken to the hospital after suffering injuries from a crash on the last lap of Sunday's Shell-Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston. He sustained a concussion, two spinal fractures and a fracture to his right ankle.

Franchitti had surgery Sunday night to temporarily stabilize the ankle.

He will remain in Houston for a few days, at which time he will be transported to Indianapolis for further evaluation.

"Thank you to everyone for all the well wishes," Franchitti said in a statement. "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 all right."

The crash also involved Takuma Sato and E.J. Viso after Sato lost control of his vehicle.

Franchitti's car went airborne after hitting Sato's left rear, and Franchitti's vehicle seriously damaged part of the catch fencing.

Thirteen spectators were treated for minor injuries at the race track. Two fans were taken to the hospital.

"Our thoughts remain with everyone affected by yesterday's accident," IndyCar said in a statement. "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."
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