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Report: Kanaan linked to Ganassi switch, but status unofficial (UPDATED)

Sep 27, 2013, 4:21 PM EDT

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According to the Associated Press’ Jenna Fryer, reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Tony Kanaan will move to Chip Ganassi Racing’s IndyCar team in 2014. Sources spoke on condition of anonymity because no official announcement has been made.

No indication was given as to whether this would be a Target-backed car or fall under the auspices of the “G2” program operated out of Brownsburg, the shop where Charlie Kimball resides. As it is, Kanaan would be the fourth driver alongside Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti and Kimball.

Kanaan would serve as the first major domino to fall in the driver front for the 2014 IndyCar Series silly season. We surmised recently that Kanaan was one of the two likeliest options to move to Ganassi, along with Andretti Autosport’s James Hinchcliffe, with the likelihood that Ganassi would bring its fourth car out of a one-year hiatus.

This would not come as a major surprise given Kanaan raced for Ganassi’s GRAND-AM Rolex Series team in Indianapolis and has said he would need to package the sponsorship to stay at KV. He has achieved two major career milestones with Jimmy Vasser and Kevin Kalkhoven’s team, with the Indianapolis 500 victory and his record-setting 212th straight start at Baltimore last race.

Hinchcliffe would now be all but a cinch to stay with Andretti in a fifth car, with a consortium of sponsors likely because GoDaddy is mulling whether it wants to stay on as a primary sponsor.

For KV, the situation could be less clear. This would leave just Simona de Silvestro and a second seat likely to go to the highest bidder, if at all. Stay tuned.

UPDATE, 6:15 p.m. ET: The AP report was refuted by a further report by the Indianapolis Star‘s Curt Cavin posted later this afternoon, with quotes from both Kanaan and Vasser.

Kanaan said he doesn’t have a deal either way, and Vasser has said two offers have been made to him – the latter and updated one noting he would not need to bring any funding on his own. Vasser also cited a desire to “keep the band together,” referring to a cast and crew Kanaan has worked with the majority of his career, including engineer Eric Cowdin.

I’d tend to agree with this tweet Cavin offered later, in that if Ganassi wants Kanaan, he’ll get him.

As ever though, nothing is official until the team entity – whichever team – announces it.

  1. snoopyo - Sep 27, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    I am glad that TK will stay in the series its a joke that he should have to bring money to a team.It would make me sick to see him driving in nascar.TK has been so loyal to this series and he has never wanted to leave INDYCAR unlike Hornish, Dario and Princess Sparkle Pony granted I was so glad to see her go. If this is true even though I don’t like Ganassi I will give him a lot of props for doing this because its good for the series to keep the most popular driver. Its terrible that Kalkhoven will not spend any of his own money to keep TK. I wonder what will happen at KV I wish Wilson or Servia would get the 2nd car there because I feel bad that Simona will not have a teammate again but since Kalkhoven will not spend any of his money like Tony said in his article it will go to the person who brings money. I wish Wilson would be in that ride because I think he is the best driver in this series.

  2. manik56 - Sep 27, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    It sure seems like Penske, Ganassi, and Andretti have all declared war on each other. This will be fun.

    • indycarseries500 - Sep 27, 2013 at 8:54 PM

      Andretti should steal Will Power maybe their inconsistencies can match up into a dominant force.

  3. Jeff - Sep 29, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    Hope TK is able to stay in IndyCar.

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