Dario Franchitti returns to track as spectator

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 25, 2014 at 11:23 pm •  Published: January 25, 2014

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Dario Franchitti was back with his Chip Ganassi Racing teammates at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, in street clothes, a reluctant spectator because of his forced retirement from racing.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner announced in November that doctors had advised him it was too dangerous to resume his career following an accident in an IndyCar race at Houston in October. Franchitti fractured his spine, broke his ankle and suffered a concussion in the wreck.

Aside from a noticeable limp, Franchitti was in good health and spirits.

"The recovery is going well," he said Saturday during the Fox Sports 1 telecast of the twice-around-the-clock endurance race. "Head's a lot better, back's pretty good, ankle is still not great. Quite a big limp, but working hard on the therapy and stuff to get rid of that, and it's coming along."

Franchitti watched a portion of the race with good friend Tony Kanaan inside the Ganassi team tent on pit road at Daytona International Speedway. Kanaan took his place in the No. 10 for Ganassi's IndyCar team and joined the Rolex lineup, as did Franchitti's younger brother, Marino.