Earlier today, Chip Ganassi Racing announced that 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan will drive the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and that Ryan Briscoe has signed a multi-year contract with the team and will drive the No. 8 NTT Data Chevrolet.
With T.K. moving into what is a car with a number that has quite a legend behind it, how did that decision come about? CHIP GANASSI: W e're here today because a lot of partners came together and pulled off something that only great partners can do, and that is obviously, the NTT car and Ryan, he has a little bit of history with NTT.
It started a snowball of events that ultimately worked around to today's announcement where Ryan is going to be in the No. 8 NTT IndyCar, and Tony moves over to his best friend's car, the No. 10 that was vacated unfortunately by Dario Franchitti, who sends his regards. We were all on the phone with Dario.
He's going to stay involved with the team. He wants to know when we're testing, wants to be there to help out. So we're ready to go. He couldn't be more proud of the talent on this team also. He looks forward to being a part of it continuing forward.
So it's kind of an interesting thing to have his best friend get in his seat, and Tony's seat that he vacated filled by a guy our team has a lot of history with. I was with Ryan last night and he was talking about being a veteran IndyCar driver.
I want to remind him, when he first came over to the States, he was a test driver for Toyota. He came over to drive for us at Phoenix, first time in an IndyCar. So, yeah, it's great to have a veteran like that.
Let me say this. We had a lot of drivers, a lot of young talent, a lot of veteran drivers call us that were interested in the drive. We just felt with the history of NTT, it made a better fit with Ryan. Ryan was the best fit possible. His experience was a little bit more than most out there. That goes a long way with the schedule we're looking at next year.
We're pretty pumped up. Like I said in the beginning, this doesn't happen without the coming together of a lot of people and a lot of give-and-take on a lot of people's parts to make this happen.
Ryan Briscoe, finally a multi-year deal for the team. You have to be smiling as much as I am. It's finally here for you. RYAN BRISCOE: Yeah, I feel like one of the luckiest guys out there at the moment. This is sort of full circle. Chip touched on it. The first IndyCar I ever drove was one of Chip's back at the end of the 2004. It's been a rollercoaster ride since then.
Had a lot of great experiences all over the place. I've driven a lot of great racecars. But nothing beats being back here. Can't wait to get integrated into the team again, being teammates with Tony, Scott and Charlie. I think it's going to be an unbelievable year.
Tony, you're taking over really a legacy car, Dan Wheldon, Dario Franchitti. TONY KANAAN: Yeah, I mean, it's unbelievable. We touched on it a little bit. This year has been an unbelievable year for me. A lot of people know I almost had a history in the 10 car before Dario got there. Dario proved that seat, coming from Dan, Dario and myself.
I remember one of the toughest times this year when Dario was in my house in Florida doing all the tests to see if he was going to be able to drive it. I didn't know how to talk to my best friend, when he broke the news to me. He looked at me in the face and said, You know, it would be really cool if you could drive the Target car and replace me. I think it's going to make it easier on my retirement.
Obviously it's Chip's call, Target's call. I thank also our partners, Steve and all the sponsors, NTT, Target, to pull something like this off. It's unbelievable the support we get, and everybody believes as a team what we can accomplish.
I'm happy. I'm extremely excited. It's a hard shoe to fill. A lot of good history in that car. Hopefully we'll be able to make more history. I'll be very popular when I go home tonight and tell my wife I get the 10% (discount at Target) (laughter).