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Tagliani to substitute for Franchitti at Fontana

Alax Tagliani will fill in for his injured longtime friend Dario Franchitti in the Ganassi #10 at the season finale at Fontana, which also sees the return of AJ Allmendinger to Penske.
Following his horrific accident on the final lap of last weekend's IZOD IndyCar Series race in Houston, Dario Franchitti has been ruled out of racing in the season finale at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California on October 19 while he undergoes surgery and treatment for his injuries.

Franchitti suffered a concussion in the high-speed wreck as well as two bruised ribs and two fractured vertebra, which are not expected to require surgery. However, Franchitti did need a surgical procedure to stabilise the fracture to his right ankle, and will need a further operation to permanently treat the injury once he is flown back from Houston to Indianapolis where he will be treated by the series' orthopaedic consultant Dr Terry Trammell.

Franchitti is expected to make a full recovery over the winter and has sent a statement expressing his appreciation for all the messages he'd received since the accident: "Thank you to everyone for all the well wishes," he said. "They mean a lot to me. I would also like to send my best to all the fans involved in the accident and hope that everyone is alright."

A number of fans were also injured on Sunday by debris from the accident flying into the grandstands. IndyCar drivers Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan (who will join Franchitti and Dixon at Ganassi in 2014) spent Monday at the Houston hospital visiting Franchitti and also spending time with the fans still receiving treatment at the same facility.

"Our thoughts remain with everyone affected by [Sunday's] accident," IndyCar said in a statement earlier in the week. "Thank you to the people of Houston for their support of the Grand Prix and their concern for Dario Franchitti, the fans and race personnel. IndyCar is thoroughly reviewing the incident. Reducing the risks that are associated with racing is one of our highest priorities and receives our constant and on-going focus."

With Franchitti out of commission for the season finale next weekend, the Ganassi team have called up veteran racer (and another longtime friend of Franchitti) Alex Tagliani to take over the race seat of the #10 car for Fontana.

"Obviously the situation is not ideal with Dario being unable to compete in Fontana," said team owner Chip Ganassi. "As we look to the season finale we needed a driver with experience and the ability to step in and get the job done in the #10 car, and Alex was a logical choice for us.

"As a driver you never want an opportunity like this to come under these circumstances," said Tagliani. "But I'm up for the challenge and looking forward to working with my friend Scott and the whole Target team.

"I'm thinking of Dario as everyone else is, and wishing him a quick recovery," he added. "This team has a championship on the line and I'm ready to step in a help them win it."




Related Pictures

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AJ Allmendinger at work at Barber Motorsports park (Photo Credit: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
A.J. Allmendinger, driver of the #2 IZOD Team Penske Chevrolet, will start in 10th position for Sunday`s Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt for Chevrolet)
Dario Franchitti ready for action in Toronto - Friday, July 12 2013. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Dario Franchitti`s helmet rests on the sidepod of the #10 Ganassi car after clinching pole position for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway - Saturday, August 24 2013 (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Bryan Herta Autosports` Alex Taglinai waits in the cockpit of the #98 at St Petersburg, Florida - March 2013. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya, Will Power and Tony Kanaan on the podium after the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest on Sunday August 17 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
The confetti flies as Will Power, Juan Pablo Montoya, and Tony Kanaan raise their trophies in Victory Lane (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power (center), driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 17, 2014 with second-place finisher Juan Pablo Montoya (left), driver of the #2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet, and Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Huggies Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 17, 2014 at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin. Power has the driver championship points lead heading into the final two races of the season.  (Photo by Lesley Ann Miller/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 17, 2014 at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin. Power has the driver championship points lead heading into the final two races of the season.  (Photo by Lesley Ann Miller/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, August 17, 2014 at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin. Power has the driver championship points lead heading into the final two races of the season.  (Photo by Lesley Ann Miller/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to a sixth-place finish Sunday, August 3, 2014 during the IndyCar Series race at Mid Ohio Raceway in Lexington, Ohio. The finish was good enough for Power to retake the drivers points championship lead from teammate Helio Castroneves. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon (right), driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 3, 2014 during the IndyCar Series race at Mid Ohio Raceway in Lexington, Ohio. Sebastien Bourdais (left), driver of the #11 Hydroxycut KVC Racing Technology Chevrolet IndyCar V6, finished second. It`s Dixon`s first victory of the season. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6 celebrates his victory Sunday, August 3, 2014 during the IndyCar Series race at Mid Ohio Raceway in Lexington, Ohio. It`s Dixon`s first victory of the season. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6 celebrates his victory Sunday, August 3, 2014 during the IndyCar Series race at Mid Ohio Raceway in Lexington, Ohio. It`s Dixon`s first victory of the season. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon in action on his way to victory in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sport Car Course on Sunday August 3 2014. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon in action on his way to victory in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sport Car Course on Sunday August 3 2014. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon in action on his way to victory in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sport Car Course on Sunday August 3 2014. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)

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