Chip Ganass: "I don't want anybody thinking he's maimed for life or anything like that."
Everybody knows by now that yesterday we had some unfortunate news that Dario Franchitti is going to be unable to continue his driving career. We have Chip Ganassi on the line, owner of Target Chip Ganassi Racing. We'll let what Dario said in his statement yesterday speak for the medical piece of this.
Hopefully at some point in the near future we'll have the opportunity to get Dario on a conference call with everybody when the time is right. With that, I'm going to turn it over to Chip and ask you, what is it going to be like in 2014 to have the No. 10 Target car without Dario in it?
Obviously, having Dario part of our family for so many years, enjoying so much together, it's unfortunate. I think we all feel on the team that nobody wants to go out of the sport. They like to leave any sport or any avocation on their own terms. To be told that you can't continue is pretty disheartening, to say the least.
I think we're all dealing with that initially. I don't think there's any reason to read anything more into that. I mean, I think Dario is a professional. He loves the sport. He understands the sport. He wants to stay involved. His involvement, like I said, like you've read, will probably continue with the team in some capacity.
I know he's very interested in the series, where it's going. Obviously, you know, his name, when you look at it, I hate to say these kind of things when you're active in a career, I've always shied away from saying this, but because he won't be driving again, I guess, I think it's safe to say that his name is up there with all the greats, like Foyt, Andretti, Unser. We've all seen the statistics. I was reminded yesterday of him winning the Daytona 24 Hours, the Indianapolis 500, the Sebring 12 Hours, all within a year period.
These are things that no one has ever done in consecutive races. Again, you look at 31 career wins, tied for eighth all time. Only driver in history to win three titles consecutively. Those are no small feats. We kind of take them for granted sometimes in our team because we're so focused on next week's race, you never really turn around and look back at things.
Like we said in the release, I think this is just the turning of a page of sorts and the beginning of a new chapter in his career. I think he'll make a great ambassador to the sport. I can't think of anybody who would be better, as somebody that has worldwide recognition and a true interest in the sport of Indy car racing. We want to help him with that. We have a common interest in the sport, in furthering the sport, and we'll do it together I'm sure.