Dario Franchitti

HOUSTON -- IZOD IndyCar Series driver Dario Franchitti was admitted awake and alert to Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center for a concussion and spinal fracture that will not require surgery and a fracture to the right ankle, according to INDYCAR medical director Dr. Michael Olinger.

He was kept overnight.

Franchitti, a four-time series champion and three-time Indianapolis 500 winner, was involved in contact with the No. 14 ABC Supply car driven by Takuma Sato in Turn 5 while they were contesting for eighth place on the final lap of Race 2 of the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston. The No. 5 Team Venezuela/PDVSA/CITGO car driven by E.J. Viso was caught up in the incident.

"On the last lap I caught the marbles and brushed the wall and lost momentum," said Sato, the pole sitter for  Race 1 in the No. 14 ABC Supply car for A.J. Foyt Racing. "A couple cars passed me as I was offline and in Turn 5. I got very loose and Dario and I came together." 

Sato and Viso were evaluated on the scene and released.

Franchitti, driving the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car, is eighth in the series standings entering the MAVTV 500 INDYCAR World Championships on Oct. 19 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.

Additionally, an INDYCAR official and two spectators were transported to a local hospital for evaluation.

“Following an accident that occurred on-track at the Grand Prix of Houston this afternoon, our greatest concern is for our fans and participants," Mi-Jack Promotions, promoter of the Grand Prix of Houston, INDYCAR and Reliant Park officials said in a joint statement.