What's up with the 2007 champ

Posted by Iannucci | 5/01/2008 | 10 comments »
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We interrupt our regularly scheduled IndyCar program for the following announcement from Chip Ganassi Racing.

Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) driver Dario Franchitti was re-evaluated this week by his doctors and will sit out this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Richmond International Raceway (RIR). NASCAR veteran Ken Schrader will drive the No. 40 Kennametal Dodge on Saturday for the 400-lap event.

Franchitti was seen by Dr. Terry Trammel and Dr. Kevin Scheid in Indianapolis, Ind. on Monday. The doctors confirmed the slight fracture in Franchitti’s left ankle. Franchitti will be fitted for a carbon fiber brace later this week. His status behind the wheel of the No. 40 Dodge will be evaluated on a week-to-week basis.

If poor Dario had a dollar for every racing crash he's been in...well, come to think of it he probably does. And no, there's not going to be any Alex Zanardi-related comments from me. No sir, not going there at all. Just going to say “Get Well Soon, Dario” and leave it at that.


  1. John in Speedway // May 01, 2008 7:58 PM  

    Unbelievable. Don't those cars have brakes? As much as people knock the Dallaras, you have to give testament to the way they incorporate technology and safety into the design of the chassis. The Dallaras are not just a steel frame surrounded by sheet metal. Granted, had those been IndyCars, it could have been worse. But I think drivers would have reacted to the yellow much quicker. Get well soon Champion.

  2. Anonymous // May 01, 2008 11:26 PM  

    I don't think he is having much fun in nascab. Its Ironic that he goes to napcar so he can feel safer yet he gets hurt in hillbilly racing , but was safe in his crashes in IndyCar.

    I expect him to drive sports cars for chip ganassi next year.

  3. mmack // May 02, 2008 6:27 AM  

    I'm thinking it's not just his ankle that will get Turncoatti evaluated on a "week-to-week" basis. Stremme's performance before being eliminated in the "Mini-Big One" with 1 to go may show The Chipster that he may have the wrong driver in Car #40. As one N-word site snidely (but honestly) pointed out about Stremme @ Talladega: "Look what happens when you put a stock car driver in a stock car." Couple that with a decided lack of Jim Beam sponsorship (Wasn't that one of the BIG stories about Dario coming over to the N-Word?) on Car 40, IMO Dario may be on thinner ice than he thinks.

    Although to be fair to Dario, the driving on display Saturday was pretty bad. Replays make it look like Gunselman was full on the throttle when he tagged Dario. And the less said about Kevin LePage's stunt in the same race, the better.

  4. Johnny // May 02, 2008 7:57 AM  


    You never fail to disappoint with the money lines. Especially about the LePage debacle.

    I think your thoughts on a stock car driver in a stock car are frighteningly correct. Granted this wreck was completely out of Dario's hands, his performance has been bad even by the recently developed "open wheel transplant" standards. It was fun, but since Canadian Club didn't make the leap and he can't even consistently qualify, I'd say this little fun fair is nearing its logical end.

  5. Jennifer of Dog.Yarn.Knit. // May 02, 2008 8:05 AM  

    I'm just going to bite my tongue.

  6. mmack // May 02, 2008 8:32 AM  


    Thanks for correcting that it was Canadian Club and not Jim Beam. I know the AGR cars carried both (Well-done had JB on his sidepods in 2004-05). I remember the big buzz last fall that Dario was bringing CC bucks to The Chipster. I wonder why that fell through? Was Chip expecting more money than CC could provide? From the numbers I've seen, the IRL is an absolute bargain for sponsors compared to a full season of the Cell Phone Cup.

    I think Mrs. mmack is correct in her assumption that of all the transplants, Sam Hornish is the only one who will make a career of it (more than one season) in the N-word. As she bluntly pointed out: "He's an American from Ohio, he fits right in. He's quiet and he hasn't angered anybody big by running into them, unlike Whine Pablo." It also helps that Sam is in the Top 35 (33 as of this week), but then too, he could hit a rough patch and fall out. I'd like to think Roger would take care of his more loyal drivers.

    (Hmmm, wonder where she got the "Whine Pablo" line from?)

    I must be honest and tell you the line you like wasn't mine. The same writer I quoted pointed out that if Ganassi ran Stirling Marlin in the #40 as a sub for Dario, he'd have everyone he'd ever hired to drive that car run it in one season!

    IMO, and you may disagree, hopefully "Choppers" Well-done is taking note of all this and will decide to stay in the IRL.

    I'll close and say I hope Dario heals up. Injuries on a racetrack are something I'd never want anyone to suffer.

  7. Anonymous // May 02, 2008 8:35 AM  

    Ok, enough with the "Turncoatti" label. The man spent 11 years in open wheel racing, its not like he arrived, won and left! Haven't you ever wanted to change jobs, look for a new challenge??

    Also, neither Dario or Chip ever said that Canadian Club was moving with him. That was all Internet speculation.

    That said, he is not doing well in the N-word. Particularly in the Cup car. He did seem to be making some progress in the Nationwide car. I think a comment I read by JPM probably covers the problem, "Dario refuses to drive a loose race car". In the N-word, if the car isn't loose, you aren't going anywhere fast.

  8. Johnny // May 02, 2008 11:37 AM  

    Hornish is doing alright, JPM could probably hold a job as long as he wants and Carpentier is doing surprisingly well given his equipment.

    And let's not forget Scott Speed just won his first ARCA race!

    (ok, I admit I just threw that in there for the fun of seeing it in print)

  9. mmack // May 02, 2008 12:27 PM  


    Danica wins a race, Juan Pablo's in The Chase, and Johnny gives props to Scott Speed at My Name's place!

    Never thought I'd see that. What a topsy-turvy time we live in. :^)

    BTW Johnny, you're slipping. That's The American Scott Speed, courtesy of Bob Varsha. :^P

  10. Anonymous // May 02, 2008 9:13 PM  

    Shouldn't we be more upset that Dario and Sam and Scott Speed are in "Stock" Cars ??