Franchitti open to potential broadcast role

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While Dario Franchitti discussed the process leading up to his retirement and recalled some of his best racing memories, he also addressed the future during his media availability on Thursday.

The Scot seems to desire a future team role with Target Chip Ganassi Racing, but when asked of the potential to go into broadcasting, Franchitti admitted it held some interest.

“Yeah, I’m open to it, absolutely,” Franchitti said. “If it was done in the right way, yes, I would be open to it.  I think whatever you do, though, you’ve got to do it properly.  That’s something I’d have to take into account.  Could I work with a team 100% and give 100% to that and be totally focused on that?  Broadcast, too.

“Could I do those things?  If I could, then I’d be interested in it.  There’s no point in doing anything half-assed.  Not the way I do things.  The guys here would get pretty pissed off pretty quickly.

“The reason for me to do something here would be to add something to the team.  The team here is pretty successful.  That’s an understatement obviously.  I have to add something if I’m going to come along.”

In 2013, Leigh Diffey anchored all of the NBCSN IndyCar broadcasts (except Long Beach due to another commitment) alongside full-time analyst Townsend Bell and third analysts Wally Dallenbach (most races), David Hobbs (Milwaukee), Steve Matchett (Toronto), Ryan Briscoe (Mid-Ohio) Gil de Ferran (Indianapolis 500 qualifying), Jon Beekhuis (Indianapolis 500 qualifying and Brazil) and Robin Miller (Brazil). Beekhuis, Miller, Kevin Lee, Marty Snider, Will Buxton and Brian Till patrolled pit lane throughout the year.

The ABC broadcasts have a vacancy for lead announcer with Marty Reid not returning to that post in 2014. Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever Jr. were color analysts alongside Reid in 2013, with Rick DeBruhl, Vince Welch, Jamie Little and Dr. Jerry Punch in the pits.

NBCSN will broadcast 13 of the 18 IndyCar races in 2014, with Long Beach and Barber in April and the last 11 in a row starting with the Saturday night race, June 7, at the Texas Motor Speedway.

Jo Shimoda joins Seth Hammaker, Austin Forkner on injured list; Musquin remains out

Shimoda injured
Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media
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Bad news continues to come out of the Monster Energy / Pro Circuit Kawasaki team as they announced Jo Shimoda injured his shoulder in a practice session and will not mount up when the Monster Energy Supercross 250 East division opens in Houston, Texas on February 4. A timetable has not been given for Shimoda’s return, but a press release from the team references multiple weeks.

“I’m doing my best to focus forward on my return to racing,” said Shimoda in the release. “Our goal was to compete for the 250 Supercross Eastern Regional Championship and I know we had been doing the right work to make that happen. Unfortunately, this crash will cause me to miss the start of the season, but I still aim to be back on the track racing for wins before the end of Supercross.”

Shimoda is joined on the sidelines by teammates Seth Hammaker and Austin Forkner, who also suffered injuries in recent weeks.

The news of Hammaker’s sidelining came just two days ago. His wrist injury is sufficient to require surgery, so he too will miss multiple weeks. Hammaker was scheduled to compete in the 250 East division alongside Shimoda.

Forkner was involved in a Lap 1 crash in the 250 West season opener at Anaheim. Multiple injuries, including an ACL tear, will sideline him for the remainder of the season. He described the injury and its aftermath on Instagram.

Forkner will be relieved by Carson Mumford, but not before that rider’s wrist has healed sufficiently. He is scheduled to debut with Kawasaki in Oakland for the rescheduled Round 2 Supercross race on February 18.

Shimoda finished fourth in the 2022 Supercross 250 West division and was second in 2021 points in 250 East. In 2021, Shimoda won his first Supercross race at Salt Lake City. Last year, he scored one podium and six top-fives in nine starts.

Shimoda finished second in last year’s outdoor Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season, where he added two more SuperMotocross wins including the Unadilla Nationals that kicked off a four-race streak of first- or second-place results.

Kawasaki is not the only team facing injury. Red Bull KTM initially reported Marvin Musquin would be out for the San Diego round with a wrist injury and “maybe more”. This week it was announced he will miss this week’s Triple Crown race in Anaheim and “at least the next several rounds.”