This past weekend turned out to be a devastating one in terms of severe motorsports crashes. In addition to a monster truck accident in Mexico that left eight dead and a scary incident in the American Le Mans Series race at Virginia International Raceway that luckily everyone walked away from, the IndyCar Grand Prix of Houston had its own horrific crash to deal with. In the closing laps of the second race, Dario Franchitti made contact with a slower driver, which catapulted his racecar up into the catch fence shredding the left side off his car and sending Franchitti – along with two fans – to the hospital.

According to the LA Times, Franchitti suffered two fractured vertebrae, a broken ankle and a concussion, while a total of 13 fans (11 treated on site) were injured by the massive debris field. In the ESPN report, Franchitti's teammate Scott Dixon said the crash scene was somewhat reminiscent of the fatal 2011 Dan Wheldon crash.

Scroll down for a video of the Franchitti crash, but as a spoiler alert, the video (and the reports) give away the winner of the race.


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  • 29 Comments
      bK
      • 1 Year Ago
      Glad nobody got hurt seriously. On a side note, whats up with that Target scooter!? I want it!
        4gasem
        • 1 Year Ago
        @bK
        Looks like an OLD Honda Cub I believe. They were around in the late '80's and perhaps early 90's I believe.
      Nick Allain
      • 1 Year Ago
      I hope he can return to full form (if not racing form). Vertebrae aren't something that are fun to break (as if anything is). It's good to see that the car did it's job in disintegrating on contact and keeping the passenger cell protected. That said, I think it's time to raise the fences a bit - a lot of that debris went up and over. It looks like there was a tire that had a shot at going over as well and that could have ended very badly.
      nocommie11
      • 1 Year Ago
      I am from Houston and nobody cared about the race, in fact nobody heard of it until there was this crash. There was more TV coverage for the local food festival, Grand Prix is just not a popular sport in the US.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @nocommie11
        [blocked]
        JanP
        • 1 Year Ago
        @nocommie11
        That's a typical IndyCar weekend. No wonder they now bring most races onto the street circuits. Even less people show up on the road courses. This is sad. I really want IndyCar to succeed. 2012-2013 IndyCar had pretty good racing.
      8LiterHemiV8
      • 1 Year Ago
      That's why you don't race in parking lots when COTA is literally right there.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @8LiterHemiV8
        [blocked]
        ufgrat
        • 1 Year Ago
        @8LiterHemiV8
        If by "right there", you mean "2.5 hours away".
      Space
      • 1 Year Ago
      such a chitti driver... (wah wah wah)
        Space
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Space
        even i've come to think what I said was in bad taste. I really don't want to make light of the situation. It was on impulse. I'd delete it if I could. Sorry.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        GasMan
        • 1 Year Ago
        How do you know nobody was severely injured? Two people are in the hospital. I have heard no reports on the extent of their injuries.
          GasMan
          • 1 Year Ago
          @GasMan
          Nor does it imply there were not severe injuries.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @GasMan
          [blocked]
        JanP
        • 1 Year Ago
        He was just lucky to survive this. Dario easily could have been killed if his car turned in midair enough for him to hit the fence head first, like Dan Wheldon in 2011 in Las Vegas. Sadly, it looks like the drivers are not immune to this type of accidents. The only solution is to have big run-off areas and no fences, but that's not possible on street and oval circuits.
      BK
      • 1 Year Ago
      My morning run took me up JFK Blvd East in Weehawken and West New York, and eventually back south along the Hudson on River Rd. This is the site of the proposed F1 race in NJ. I look at this video and my previous thoughts come back even stronger- there are homes and apartment buildings only about 4-6 feet from the street along this proposed race course. How the heck are you going to protect those inside when you see a crash like this? (Besides the logistical issue of how these people get in and out of their homes and garages). Glad no one was killed and though serious it sounds like Franchitti's injuries are not career or life threatening.
        Cayman
        • 1 Year Ago
        @BK
        I kind of doubt there are houses and apartment buildings 4-6 feet away from the street (that's less than most sidewalks), but if there is you simply put up a concrete barrier instead of fencing. Or you just don't let anyone walk between the buildings and track. That doesn't seem to be a particular difficult problem to fix. Look at the track in Monaco, they have buildings right next to the track.
          BK
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Cayman
          As I mentioned, I live there (the next town south of Weehawken). The apartment buildings, much like in any older crowded city, are separated from the street by only the width of the sidewalk. The houses in that area do have a slight setback of maybe 10 feet beyond the sidewalk. As for not allowing people between the barrier and the street/racetrack, as I mentioned you can't keep people from exiting and entering their own homes. That area is a residential area.
        Narom
        • 1 Year Ago
        @BK
        Exactly how they do in Monaco. Safety in F1 is leaps and bounds above Indy.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Narom
          [blocked]
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Narom
          [blocked]
          Narom
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Narom
          No, the helmets are barely different actually. "there is no mainstream motorsport in the world that is "leaps and bounds" above any motorsports in safety" Well yes there is..f1. Its not just about the tech in the cars but the back work in the championship.
      Robert Fitch
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think this is where Dario calls it quits for indycar at least. I honestly believe that he has been looking for an out since Wheldon got killed. He is lucky that he lived through this crash.
        JanP
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Robert Fitch
        Heh. He wanted a way out after 2011, yet somehow won his 3rd Indy 500 in 2012 along the way. He is also occasionally seen racing in sports cars. I don't really know if he wanted a way out, but this accident probably will force him out. Broken ankle and back injury is serious stuff.
      mikemaj82
      • 1 Year Ago
      How did that camera on the track not get wrecked?
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mikemaj82
        [blocked]
      sidekicker89
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is what happens when you drive the T-Mobile car.
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