Ganassi rules out move for Hornish

Chip Ganassi has said that he's not in the running to sign Sam Hornish Jr, who announced on Monday that he wouldn't return to the Pennzoil Panther Racing IRL IndyCar Series team next year

Ganassi rules out move for Hornish

The 24-year-old has been linked with both IndyCar and NASCAR Winston Cup teams, but Ganassi says Sam doesn't feature in his plans.

"He's not going to me, I can tell you that much," said Ganassi, and added: "I think Michael [Andretti]'s got him."

Ganassi became the target of speculation when Hornish began hinting that he was interested in NASCAR but still wanted to participate in the Indianapolis 500. Reportedly interested in the two-time IRL champion are Roger Penske, Michael Andretti, Joe Gibbs, Richard Childress and Dale Earnhardt Inc. Hornish hinted at his interest in NASCAR during an IRL teleconference on Tuesday, one day after he told Panther officials that he wouldn't return to the team next season.

"You never know if you've done the right thing," Hornish said. "I'm still not sure, but we're going to find out. There's only one way to find out."

Like Ganassi, Penske owns teams in the IRL and Cup. However, Penske indicated earlier this month that he wasn't going to expand his two-car IRL team. Last weekend, Penske driver Gil de Ferran reiterated his intention to return for the 2004 season, so speculation shifted to the possibility of Hornish driving for Penske in Busch and ARCA races next season while competing in selected IRL events - namely the Indy 500 - for Penske.

But that theory ran into a roadblock on Wednesday when Penske Racing president Tim Cindric told the Indianapolis Star that the team has not been talking to Hornish or his agent, John Caponigro.

That leaves Andretti Green Racing as the only IRL team with the financial resources - and speculative interest - to sign Hornish. However, Andretti said recently that Hornish is no longer considering his team.

On the subject of his future, all Hornish would say is: "I'm trying my best to keep as many people happy as I can, but I've got to try to make myself happy, too. Somebody is going to be happy and somebody is going to be unhappy no matter what I do. What I do is going to be the best for me in the long run."

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