11/14/2013 at 04:15 PM EST
Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti says doctors have told him he can no longer race because of injuries from an IndyCar crash
Franchitti fractured his spine, broke his right ankle and suffered a concussion in the Oct. 6 crash at Houston. The accident occurred on the last lap, when his car made contact with another car and went sailing into a fence.
The 40-year-old underwent two surgeries on his ankle and recently returned home to Scotland to recover.
a statement on Thursday, calling it "a sad day but I'm eternally grateful."
"One month removed from the crash and based on the expert advice of the doctors who have treated and assessed my head and spinal injuries post accident, it is their best medical opinion that I must stop racing," he said.
"They have made it very clear that the risks involved in further racing are too great and could be detrimental to my long term well-being. Based on this medical advice, I have no choice but to stop. Racing has been my life for over 30 years and it's really tough to think that the driving side is now over."
While Franchitti is working on healing, the accident appears to have brought him closer to his estranged wife, Ashley Judd
The couple split
in January, after 12 years of marriage, but the Missing
star raced to his side after his accident.
"I have only clothes on my back & the dogs but that's all we need & we are on our way," Judd, 45, Tweeted hours after the crash. She followed it up the next day by thanking fans for their well wishes, adding
that she and Franchitti were "keeping our heads down here & doing what's in front of us to do."