Chip Ganassi Racing’s Tony Kanaan says that seeing the end of the team with whom he raced to Indianapolis 500 glory just four years ago was “weird and sad.”
KV Racing won seven races over the course of its 14-year existence, its major high point being Kanaan’s victory in the 2013 Indy 500. However, following a failed attempt to partner with Carlin and land Mikhail Aleshin and his SMP backing for this year, the Kevin Kalkhoven/Jimmy Vasser-owned team has folded. Its equipment is due to go to auction in March.
Said Kanaan: “Let me put it this way. It's weird or sad to see a team go, regardless of who those people are. But for me, especially that team, we won the biggest race of our lives together, that's the team that we struggled together, and I remember how we struggled to get where we got. And honestly, I only made it this far [to Ganassi] because of that win.
“I was with Jimmy last week in Vegas, I was even trying to convince him to come do something for us, just to be around.
“So it's sad… but unfortunately, it's racing, I think it's everybody's reality. It's just the way it is. People come and go. But from the bottom of my heart, I didn't want to see it go.”
James Hinchcliffe, who was with the legendary Newman/Haas team for its final season back in 2011, added: “As Tony said, it's sort of a function of our sport. These things are kind of cyclical, some great teams have come and gone over the years, and unfortunately KV isn't running anymore.
“That doesn't mean it won’t ever be again. Jimmy is a racer at heart and it wouldn't surprise me if we see him back in some capacity sooner rather than later. Hopefully we do, because he's a big personality and a big part of the sport.”