Kanaan returns to Ganassi for 2021 ovals to extend IndyCar career

Indianapolis 500 winner and 2004 IndyCar champion Tony Kanaan will return to Chip Ganassi Racing after signing a multi-year deal to race the four ovals on the calendar in 2021

Kanaan returns to Ganassi for 2021 ovals to extend IndyCar career

Kanaan raced for CGR in the American open-wheel series from 2014 through to 2017, scoring a win at the 2014 Fontana finale and 10 other podiums before departing for AJ Foyt's team in 2018.

The Brazilian had planned to call time on an IndyCar career that began in 1998 following an oval-only schedule in 2020, in which he scored a best result of ninth at the first Gateway race, but told Autosport that he wasn't comfortable with finishing his career in a pandemic-afflicted season without fans in attendance and was eyeing another deal for 2021.

PLUS: The departing IndyCar hero who can't let go

He has now signed a deal to return to Ganassi with another oval-only programme racing the #48 machine that seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Jimmie Johnson will drive on road courses, with six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon, Marcus Ericsson and Alex Palou completing the line-up after signing from Dale Coyne Racing to replace Arrow McLaren SP-bound Felix Rosenqvist.

Commenting on the deal, Kannan said: "It's hard to express in words how excited I am about this announcement.

"When Chip and I first started to talk about the opportunity to drive the ovals and share the #48 with Jimmie Johnson I couldn't imagine that we would reach an agreement this fast.

"Chip Ganassi Racing is at the pinnacle of motorsports in North America and being able to be part of the programme once again with such great drivers in their line-up is a dream come true.

"I've also been very fortunate to enjoy great relationships with my sponsors throughout my career and having companies like Bryant and NTT DATA supporting me once again is a testament to that.

"Both Bryant and NTT DATA have been with me through different teams, wins and even life events. Being able to continue to represent these companies is truly an honour."

PLUS: Ranking the 10 greatest drives of a modern Indycar hero

Team owner Ganassi added: "As the IndyCar driver market trends younger and younger, experience is something that cannot be taught - especially at the Indianapolis 500.

"There is no one more experienced in the paddock than Tony, and when we needed the right fit for rounding out our oval programme, it was clear he was the right choice.

"We are very familiar with NTT DATA and Bryant over the years and are excited to have both companies back with this programme.

"Tony also knows our team, he knows our system and he knows our drivers.

"We expect the combination of him and Jimmie to give us the one-two punch we're looking for in the #48."

shares
comments
Coyne: Palou "will be strong" at Ganassi in 2021 IndyCar season
Previous article

Coyne: Palou "will be strong" at Ganassi in 2021 IndyCar season

Next article

Kanaan: No excuses not to win IndyCar races at Ganassi

Kanaan: No excuses not to win IndyCar races at Ganassi
How Ericsson achieved Indy immortality as Ganassi's main man stumbled Plus

How Ericsson achieved Indy immortality as Ganassi's main man stumbled

Chip Ganassi Racing team was strong again in the Indianapolis 500, with poleman Scott Dixon and reigning champion Alex Palou leading almost three quarters of the race between them. But when dominator Dixon was penalised for pitlane speeding, ex-Formula 1 driver Marcus Ericsson stepped up to score the biggest win of his career and seize the IndyCar points lead

IndyCar
May 30, 2022
Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021 Plus

Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021

In an enthralling 2021 IndyCar campaign, the series bounced back from its COVID-19 truncated year prior and Alex Palou defeated both the established order and his fellow young guns to clinch a maiden title. It capped a remarkable season with plenty of standout performers

IndyCar
Nov 21, 2021
How F1's other IndyCar exile finally unlocked his potential Plus

How F1's other IndyCar exile finally unlocked his potential

Romain Grosjean's swashbuckling rookie year in IndyCar captured the imagination of many in 2021. But another ex-Formula 1 driver whose potential was masked by five years of toil in, at best, middling machinery also enjoyed a breakout year in 2021 - winning twice and finishing sixth in points. Here's how Marcus Ericsson finally delivered on his promise

IndyCar
Nov 16, 2021
How Ganassi's relentless new champion outfoxed IndyCar's best Plus

How Ganassi's relentless new champion outfoxed IndyCar's best

IndyCar sophomore Alex Palou stunned by overcoming team-mate Scott Dixon and the rest of a white-hot field in 2021. He was consistently fast and crucially showed a level head, rebounding well from setbacks to put himself in a near unassailable position entering the final round

IndyCar
Nov 4, 2021
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Plus

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Despite appearing to have an IndyCar job for life with Meyer Shank Racing, Jack Harvey’s departure and move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate. However, Harvey's and RLL's combined strengths could prove to be a winning combination - if they get the balance right

IndyCar
Oct 17, 2021
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win Plus

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win

Saturday 16 October marks the 10th anniversary of Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Plus

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong junior career and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star Plus

Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star

Newly-crowned IndyCar champion Alex Palou has been lauded as a complete driver and veteran-like in only his second season. The 24-year-old is still in the early days of his career, but the parallels are there for all to see with his six-time champion Chip Ganassi Racing team-mate who has been CGR's team leader since 2014

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021