Dario Franchitti Leaving NASCAR to Replace Dan Wheldon at Ganassi

Jen PrestonSenior Analyst ISeptember 2, 2008

Last year's IndyCar champion Dario Franchitti left open wheel in hopes of forging a career in NASCAR.

He failed, and now he's headed back to familiar territory.

Chip Ganassi Racing announced today that Franchitti will be leaving stock cars to replace Dan Wheldon in the No. 10 Honda in the IndyCar series.

"I have really enjoyed this last season in stockcars and have not completely closed that chapter of my professional career but the opportunity that arose was just something I could not pass up." Franchitti said in a statement. "I am really looking forward to getting behind the wheel of one of those Target cars and be a teammate to Scott Dixon."

During his short time in NASCAR, Franchitti did not score any top fives or 10s in his 10 Sprint Cup Series starts, with one top five, two top tens, and one pole in 14 Nationwide Series starts. He also failed to qualify for two Cup events in Texas and Sonoma.

Dan Wheldon, a former Indianapolis 500 champ, will be joining Panther Racing, beginning at Surfer's Paradise, Australia in October.