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“I know he will continue to be a great ambassador for our sport and I’m sure Dario has a lot more to contribute to racing, it will just be in a different way than driving an IndyCar,” Castroneves said.

Foyt, the only driver with more IndyCar titles than Franchitti with seven, said: “If the doctors tell him he should quit then he should listen to them. I’m the opposite and never would listen, but I probably would have been a lot better off if I did. But Dario’s won a lot of races and championships so he has a lot to be proud of. My hat’s off to him.”

Franchitti could find a role with the Ganassi organization, or perhaps land in the television booth. Andretti suggested Franchitti would be a good fit as a consultant to a manufacturer.

For now, everyone was still trying to adjust to the idea of racing without Franchitti on the track.

“You pinch yourself everyday as firsthand you are witness to the talent, ability, work ethic and start-versus-win ratio of Dario Franchitti,” Ganassi team manager Mike Hull said. “Having Dario represent all of us is what’s right about motorsports. His representation of the integrity of a true champion is what sets him apart.”

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AP Sports Writers Mark Long and Jim Vertuno contributed to this report.