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Ganassi weighing whether veteran or up-and-comer should join team (VIDEO)

Nov 15, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT

UPDATE, 2:00 p.m. ET: NBCSN IndyCar reporter Marty Snider called into NBCSN’s “SportsDash” on Friday to discuss Franchitti’s injuries and his retirement.

ORIGINAL, 12:30 p.m. ET: Chip Ganassi took time from his hectic schedule at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series finale to discuss the Dario Franchitti forced retirement news and outline preliminary plans for the No. 10 Target Chevrolet in IndyCar.

Regarding the No. 10, Ganassi wouldn’t be pressed on too many details, only saying that new signing Tony Kanaan – who is slated for the No. 8 NTT Data/TNT Energy Drink Chevrolet – is “not out of the question” for the No. 10. Ganassi did confirm a four-car team will continue for 2014 as planned.

But the big question now is when it comes to filling the No. 10, one of the three or four plum rides in IndyCar, is whether Ganassi opts to go with a proven veteran or a young up-and-comer.

You have guys like Justin Wilson, for example, eternally overlooked by the two or three “big teams” despite obvious talent. Then you have the veterans who have been around for a while but not ever had this chance – an Alex Tagliani or an Oriol Servia perhaps.

But with the same five or six drivers in the top rides for the last half decade at least, seeing a youngster like a Josef Newgarden, a Conor Daly, a Sage Karam or someone else of that ilk, fill the void could be an intriguing opportunity and a necessary spice to the field.

“That’s a good question,” Ganassi admitted during the media teleconference. “That’s one of the first decisions we have to make.

“We’ve always taken the best driver available at the time. That rule, we learned from a great mentor to our guys, Morris Nunn, who used to say that. Morris always said, ‘You need to take the best driver available and don’t think of anything else.’ That’ll be our first procedure to go through.

“Do you go with a proven talent or young, up-and-comer? That’s the question we’re dealing with now. Whoever fills that seat has big shoes to fill and they have to be a huge teammate to help Dixon, Kimball and Kanaan. We’ve been thinking more about Dario this week than who is going to be in the 10. We will figure that out in the next few weeks.”

Ganassi said it made “no difference” whether a driver announcement was done this week or next week, and he hopes to have something announced within several weeks.

  1. convincedofthehex - Nov 15, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    Simona? Doesn’t she have a big pile of sponsor money too? Or is her management team too difficult to work with?

  2. manik56 - Nov 15, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    Make Sam Hornish an offer he can’t refuse. This counters the Montoya to Penske move. Penske stuck by Sam until the payoff came. Suddenly Penske is screwing Sam. Time for revenge.

    • indycarseries500 - Nov 15, 2013 at 4:56 PM

      Isn’t the idea to hire somebody who will be compeitive?

    • snoopyo - Nov 16, 2013 at 12:24 AM

      Hornish is not as good as everyone thinks, if he comes back he will get smoked on road/street courses, he will be competitive on ovals but he isn’t going to be dominating. He won two of his titles against watered down competition. These guys out there are not the Lazier brothers or whoever he won against. I will give him credit for 2006 that was a better field but its 2013 and the field is much deeper and mostly road/street courses old sammy boy will struggle and he knows it. He has constantly said he doesn’t want to come back but on the other hand he knows the truth and the truth is he wont be winning championships and will only have a handful of chances to win. He will be getting beat every weekend on a road/street course by Power, Dixon, Pagenaud, Wilson RHR, Hinch, and many more. I want the ride to go to Wilson he is most deserving and will be a title contender heck look what he did driving for Dale freaking Coyne of all teams.

  3. Jeff - Nov 16, 2013 at 8:46 PM

    I hope it’s somebody like Conor Daly or Sage Karen.

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