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Franchitti released from Houston hospital

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POSTED October 10, 2013 10:50 p.m.

The Associated Press

Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti was released from a Houston hospital Thursday, four days after fracturing his spine and breaking his right ankle in an IndyCar Series crash.

“I’m overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and I’m thankful to have such a great family and such wonderful friends and fans. Thanks to everyone at the hospital and the track who took such good care of me during my stay in Houston,” Franchitti said in a statement.

Franchitti was headed back to Indianapolis for further evaluation and will eventually have a second surgery on his ankle. He underwent surgery Sunday night to stabilize his ankle following the accident on the last lap of the Grand Prix of Houston.

Target Chip Ganassi Racing released a photo of the four-time series champion before he left the hospital. Franchitti was smiling, surrounded by his two dogs, and aided by a walker. His right leg was in a cast and he was wearing a heavy brace around his torso.

He will be replaced by Alex Tagliani in the No. 10 Honda in the Oct. 19 season finale at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, where teammate Scott Dixon will be trying to win his third IndyCar championship.

“I look forward to watching Scott, Alex and the Target team next weekend on television, and will be pulling for them as they go for another championship,” Franchitti said.

Kevin Harvick continues to prove skeptics wrong

CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Harvick hasn’t forgotten how little interest there was in him at the start of the season, when few expected much from him as he entered his final year with Richard Childress Racing.

He used two victories during SpeedWeeks at Daytona to prove this wasn’t going to be a throwaway season, and added regular-season wins at Richmond and Charlotte to become championship eligible.

Now he’s an actual threat to win his first Sprint Cup title.

A win last week at Kansas Speedway moved Harvick to third in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship standings. It has allowed Harvick to look back on that lonely day at Daytona, when most everybody had written him off as a non-factor in what was supposed to be a lame duck year.

Kvapil scheduled to race after assault arrest

CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Travis Kvapil will compete in Saturday night’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway despite his arrest on misdemeanor assault on a female and false imprisonment.

NASCAR said Thursday it does not condone Kvapil’s actions and will monitor the situation as it develops. Kvapil was arrested Tuesday night and is due in Iredell County (N.C.) District Court on Nov. 19.

The 2003 Truck Series champion was released from police custody on $2,000 bond on Wednesday morning.

Kvapil drives the No. 93 Toyota for BK Racing in the Sprint Cup Series. He is 31st in the standings.

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