AGR, Kanaan to remain together for 5 more years

AGR, Kanaan to remain together for 5 more years

Andretti Green Racing's Tony Kanaan will continue to remain a constant of the team and the Indy Racing League as team owners Kevin Savoree, Kim Green and Michael Andretti announced a new five-year contract extension to keep the 2004 IndyCar Series...

Andretti Green Racing's Tony Kanaan will continue to remain a constant of the team and the Indy Racing League as team owners Kevin Savoree, Kim Green and Michael Andretti announced a new five-year contract extension to keep the 2004 IndyCar Series champion as 'part of the AGR family'.

Tony Kanaan.
Photo by Kurt Dahlstrom.
Speaking before the media at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Kentucky where the IndyCar Series will contest the Meiejer 300 on Saturday evening, Andretti called Kanaan "our franchise player" and added, "It's nice to have the agreement in writing. We had a handshake deal with Tony a long time ago."

No financial details were disclosed of the agreement which keeps Kanaan in the AGR fold through 2013.

"It's really no surprise," said Kanaan of the deal. "I'm excited about the opportunity, and I will retire with this team for sure now."

Speculation persisted throughout the week that Kanaan could be headed to Chip Ganassi Racing, with 2005 Indianapolis 500 winner and Indy Racing League champion Dan Wheldon on the outs in the No. 10 Target Dallara/Honda.

"We started talking with Tony last fall," said Savoree. "It's hard to imagine an AGR without a Tony Kanaan."

Kanaan was one of the original drivers for the team which was founded in 2002 and originally competed as Barry Green's Team Green in the now-defunct CART, then ChampCar, series.

He gave the team its first pole, at Homestead Miami Speedway in the team's first year of operation. Kanaan owns thirteen IndyCar Series wins, although a much-sought victory at the Indy 500 has eluded him.

Kanaan has won wide respect for his mentoring of young drivers on and around the AGR Team, including Danica Patrick, Marco Andretti, Jaime Camara and Raphael Matos.

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Series INDYCAR