Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Chip Ganassi Racing made two major announcements on Friday, with driver Tony Kanaan joining the team and the organization switching from Honda to Chevrolet for the 2014 IndyCar Series season.
Team owner Chip Ganassi confirmed the multi-year deal with Kanaan, who is the 2004 IndyCar champion and winner of this year's Indianapolis 500. He will team with Dario Franchitti, the four-time series champion, Scott Dixon, who is currently second in the point standings, and Charlie Kimball, a first-time race winner on the circuit this year.
"I couldn't be happier to join this organization," Kanaan said during a press conference held at Houston's Reliant Park, the site of this weekend's doubleheader for IndyCar. "They are the gold standard that all IndyCar teams measure themselves against. Chip has created a fantastic organization that judges success by just one thing - winning both races and championships. I can't wait for next year to get here. This is a very big day for me."
Kanaan is in his third season driving for KV Racing Technology. Prior to KVRT, he drove for Andretti Autosport/Andretti Green Racing from 2003-10. The 38- year-old Brazilian has 16 career victories in the series. He is expected to make his record-extending 212th and 213th consecutive starts this weekend.
In July, Kanaan co-drove a Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Daytona Prototype entry to a second-place finish in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series' race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
"It is not all the time that you can find yourself as an owner with drivers that represent seven championships, five Indianapolis 500 victories and over 75 wins," Ganassi said. "That feels pretty good. I think TK will add a lot to this organization, not only from his talent behind the wheel but also from his leadership skills off the track. I am very exciting to add TK to an already talented group of drivers."
Chevrolet and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing have been partners in NASCAR since 2009. Ganassi switched from Toyota to Honda for the 2006 IndyCar season when Honda became the sole engine provider. Engine manufacturer competition between Honda and Chevrolet resumed for the 2012 season.
"This decision makes a lot of sense for use for a number of reasons," Ganassi said. "We feel Chevrolet has done a great job in their return to the IndyCar Series and because of our existing relationship in NASCAR."