TV interviews can oftentimes be a dime-a-dozen, but we really were captivated by Indianapolis station WRTV’s interview of four-time IndyCar champ and three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti on Thursday.
Having suffered near-fatal injuries in a crash last October at Houston that prompted his immediate retirement from open-wheel racing, Franchitti will be missing from the starting grid at Indy for only the second time in more than a decade.
But WRTV does an excellent job of telling not only the back story of Franchitti’s career, as well as the next chapter as a coach and consultant to Target Chip Ganassi Racing, particularly for his hand-picked replacement to succeed him in the No. 10 car, defending Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan.
One of the best lines in the interview is when Franchitti tries to put into context the fact that he’s at Indianapolis for the first time since 2002 (with the exception of his brief foray into NASCAR in 2008) as an observer rather than a driver.
“Fun? Yes. Bizarre? In some ways, yes. Bittersweet? Absolutely,” said Franchitti, who turns 41 on May 19.
Another intriguing part of the interview was the viciousness of his crash at Houston. The WRTV report included both professional and amateur footage of the horrendous wreck that left Franchitti with two broken vertebrae, a broken right ankle and the third major concussion of his career.
As a result, his doctors told him almost immediately that while he’d walk again, he’d never race again, the toughest pill for Franchitti to swallow as he recuperated in the hospital.
Even more so, what is particularly frightening about the Houston crash is the amnesia that Franchitti suffered.
“I didn’t know that because I don’t remember anything,” Franchitti told WRTV’s Dave Furst. “I lost five weeks, I think two weeks before and three weeks after, nothing. It’s not going to come back. I went to my buddy Albert’s wedding in Portland (a few weeks before Houston) and that’s the last thing I remember.”
Click here to check out the Franchitti video. Great job and great storytelling by Furst and the WRTV crew.
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