Racing Team Owner Ran Over A Driver's Golden Retriever Puppy Hours Before The Daytona 24

Racing Team Owner Ran Over A Driver's Golden Retriever Puppy Hours Before The Daytona 24

Image: @devlindefran on Instagram

Italian-Canadian IndyCar and Sports Car racing driver Devlin Defrancesco got a new puppy during the racing off-season. His name was Lucky, picked out from Sunnyside Goldens in Utah, with the help of competitor Alexander Rossi. This special little boy joined Defrancesco’s home in September, and quickly became a member of the family. While in the fenced-off motorhome lot reserved for drivers and team owners at Daytona ahead of the 24 Hour race this weekend, Lucky was hit and killed by long-time racing team owner Chip Ganassi.

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There aren’t many details as to the circumstances around the incident, but on Sunday morning Devlin’s father posted to Twitter: “It’s a crime that anyone has to go through this and Lucky had to suffer the way he did. It’s unconscionable people don’t acknowledge their actions or show any remorse.” Rumors on the grid said that the driver did not stop, nor offer any condolences to the family. Reporting outside the paddock did not confirm the car was driven by Ganassi until earlier this week, though Ganassi claims he immediately stopped and apologized. He also says he was questioned by police at the scene throughout Saturday night.

On Tuesday evening Ganassi took to Twitter to publicly apologize for killing Lucky, and said he would be making a “generous” donation to the Indianapolis Humane Society on their behalf.

Defrancesco graciously accepted the apology in a later tweet.

Through the course of the 24 Hour race, Ganassi’s 01 Cadillac prototype suffered an engine failure and retired from the race. Defrancesco, who was part of the winning LMP2 team in 2022, finished 16th in the GTD class racing the Forte Lamborghini Huracan. Defrancesco does not currently have a contract to race in IndyCar for 2024 after two seasons with Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport has seen him finish no higher than 12th.

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Goodbye Lucky, you were a good boy.