Franchitti out of Talladega Cup race after breaking ankle in Nationwide race
TALLADEGA, Ala. -- Dario Franchitti will not race in the Aaron's 499 Sprint Cup Sunday after suffering a fractured left ankle in an accident during the Aaron's 312 Nationwide Series race Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway.
Franchitti was taken to a Birmingham hospital, where tests revealed the fracture, Chip Ganassi Racing officials confirmed.
Franchitti, the 2007 Indianapolis 500 winner and a rookie in Sprint Cup this season, was scheduled to start 43rd in Sunday's race.
David Stremme probably will drive the No. 40 Dodge for the team, but that was not confirmed Saturday night. Stremme drove the car for two seasons before Franchitti replaced him this year.
Franchitti spun and hit the wall in Saturday's race after blowing a right rear tire on Lap 12. His Dodge slid down the track into the grass on the backstretch before being rammed on the driver's side door panel by the car of Larry Gunselman.
Saturday's race also included a 14-car accident with 46 laps to go, but no on was injured in that incident. Kevin Lepage was leaving the pits slowly when he surprisingly pulled up on the track as the lead pack was approaching, causing cars to slam together behind him.
"I think he just pulled up right in front of the field," said Carl Edwards, who was involved in the crash. "I'm just glad I didn't get hurt. This whole restrictor-plate deal is a great spectacle for the fans, but this can kill somebody."
Terry Blount covers motorsports for ESPN.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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