The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner and four-time IndyCar Series champion reluctantly and abruptly retired Thursday, saying doctors told him it would be too dangerous for him to keep racing because of injuries sustained in a harrowing crash last month.

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Racing has been my life for over 30 years, and it s really tough to think that the driving side is now over, Franchitti said.

Franchitti fractured his spine, broke his right ankle and suffered a concussion in the Oct. 6 race at Houston, where his car made contact with Takuma Sato s car on the last lap and sailed into a fence. Debris from the accident injured 13 fans in the grandstands and one IndyCar official.

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