Franchitti leaving hospital (Photo via @TCGRTeams Twitter)

Franchitti released from hospital; en route back to Indy

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Dario Franchitti has been released from Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center in Houston this afternoon. The driver of the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda will be en route back to Indianapolis for further evaluation and await a second surgery to his right ankle, per a team report.

“I’m overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and I’m thankful to have such a great family and such wonderful friends and fans,” Franchitti said in a team statement. “Thanks to everyone at the hospital and the track who took such good care of me during my stay in Houston. I look forward to watching Scott, Alex and the Target team next weekend on television, and will be pulling for them as they go for another championship.”

Franchitti’s teammate Scott Dixon said he had been in contact with him since Franchitti’s accident Sunday in Houston.

“He’s pretty beat up; he should be back in Indy later today,” Dixon said in a teleconference Thursday. “I know he has control of his phone again, so that’s a good sign.”

Dixon added that the Dallara DW12 performed as best it could have given the circumstances.

“I know a lot of the areas worked on were the rear bumpers from front and back,” Dixon said. “He was lucky but the car did exactly what it should have. It did its job.”

With Franchitti out of action, and at this stage unlikely to travel to Fontana in person, the team has called on Alex Tagliani as a replacement.

Recapping the 2018 Dakar Rally with “best of” video highlights

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EDITOR’S NOTE: NBCSN will air additional Dakar Rally highlights on Monday at 7 p.m. ET.

As it has done so for four decades, the 40th annual Dakar Rally – the most grueling test of man and machine anywhere – produced a number of surprise finishes and also several disappointments for drivers or riders who were expected to do well in the nearly 5,600-mile trek that began in Peru and continued through Bolivia and ending in Argentina.

NBCSN has aired highlights from all 14 stages (actually 13, because one stage was completely rained out) during the Rally’s two-week run, which concluded Saturday.

Here’s some of the “best of” highlights from the overall Rally highlights, followed by a quick guide that gives you wrapups to all 14 stages.

So, without further adieu, here’s NBCSN’s “best of” the 2018 Dakar Rally:

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of cars

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of bikes

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of trucks

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of quads

Lastly, here’s a day-by-day wrapup of how the Rally played out.

MORE: Dakar Rally daily stages schedule, NBCSN broadcast schedule, list of all competitors.

MORE: Stage 14 overall Rally wrapup

MORE: Stage 13 wrapup

MORE: Stage 12 wrapup

MORE: Stage 11 wrapup

MORE: Stage 10 wrapup

MORE: Stage 9 cancelled due to weather, impassible course conditions

MORE: Stage 8 wrapup

MORE: Stage 7 wrapup

MORE: Stage 6 wrapup

MORE: Stage 5 wrapup

MORE: Stage 4 wrapup

MORE: Stage 3 wrapup

MORE: Stage 2 wrapup

MORE: Stage 1 wrapup