Dario Franchitti remains one of IndyCar’s biggest names and greatest ambassadors, even though he isn’t behind the wheel anymore.
The three-time Indianapolis 500 and four-time Verizon IndyCar Series series champion wrote an article earlier this year describing his home life in Scotland now that he’s out of the cockpit.
Just this week, he’s put together a wonderful read for Derek Jeter’s “The Player’s Tribune” that focuses more on his specific new life in racing: fully outside the cockpit, now working in the mentoring and advising role to Chip Ganassi Racing’s young drivers of Sage Karam, Charlie Kimball and, to a lesser extent, Sebastian Saavedra.
Once Franchitti goes through the opening paragraphs describing what he remembers – or largely doesn’t, given he was concussed – from his 2013 career-ending accident at Houston, he then dovetails into his new role with Ganassi which keeps him actively involved at the tracks, without the worries of driving anymore.
“I was probably going to stop racing IndyCars in the next couple of years anyway because of my age — I was 40 at the time of the accident — so my career didn’t get cut too short. That’s the way I look at it,” Franchitti wrote.
“It was the perfect way for me to transition. For that first year out of the car, I got to just hang around the team and do whatever I could to help make the drivers better and the cars go faster.”
Franchitti was in New Orleans this year, in the rainy morass that defined a challenging first-year event which both the event promoters and the Verizon IndyCar Series worked to make the best of.
These two paragraphs, describing how he went through a morning at New Orleans and then realized he didn’t have to drive, best make the point about how much he’s enjoying his new life:
The question I get the most from either fans or the media is whether or not I miss racing, and it’s a bit complicated. Sometimes I’ll be at the track and I’ll really miss driving a car, but only occasionally. There have really only been a couple of times when I’ve been at the track and I really wished I was driving.
When I was racing, I loved what I did, but now that it’s over, it’s nice that I can chill out a bit more. There’s a level of intensity that goes along with being a driver and there’s an attitude of almost going to war when you’re doing it. Since I stopped, my mindset has changed and I don’t have that attitude or level of intensity anymore. I like this more relaxed state of mind I’m in.
It’s a great read from start-to-finish, and is linked here.