A spectacular crash at the IndyCar race injured 13 fans, two of whom had to be hospitalized and racer Dario Franchitti, whose car went airborne and struck a catchfence, sending debris and parts of the fence into the grandstand.
Franchitti's car went airborne when he tried to pass Takumo Sato on a fast portion of the course in Turn 5.
Franchitti is recovering in a Houston hospital after having surgery to stabilize a broken ankle sustained in the crash. He also suffered a concussion and two spinal fractures in the crash at Reliant Park.
A statement released by Target Chip Ganassi Racing last Monday said the four-time IndyCar champion had surgery to temporarily stabilize his ankle. Spokesman Kelby Krauss added that Franchitti will undergo a second surgery on his ankle once he's transferred to Indianapolis, but that could be "within a few days."
The 40-year old Scotsman released a statement thanking fans "for all the well wishes. They mean a lot to me. I would also like to send my best wishes to all the fans involved in the accident and hope that everyone is alright."
Franchitti's brother, Marino Franchitti, a driver in the American Le Mans Series, has been with him at the hospital and tweeted, "Can't thank you all enough for all the wishes & support. @dariofranchitti is doing well considering, recovery starts here."
Actress Ashley Judd, who married Franchitti in 2001, but announced their separation in January, tweeted Sunday afternoon that she was "Amazed by the incredible outpouring of care & prayers" and that they're "Keeping our heads down here & doing what's in front of us to do."
IndyCar released a statement Monday afternoon about the last-lap crash: "Our thoughts remain with everyone affected by yesterday's accident. Thank you to the people of Houston for their support of the Grand Prix and their concern for Dario Franchitti, the fans, and the 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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