Indy 500 winner Kanaan returns to Ganassi

Chip Ganassi Racing has signed 2013 Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan to race its new #48 CGR-Honda entry in the four oval races on the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series calendar.

Indy 500 winner Kanaan returns to Ganassi

Kanaan, who raced for Ganassi from 2014 through 2017, has spent the last three seasons at A.J. Foyt Racing, switching to an oval-only program last year.

However, with NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson having signed up to drive Ganassi’s #48 in the road and street races as part of a four-car Ganassi entry in 2021, there was a perfect opportunity for Kanaan to return to the last team with whom he won an IndyCar race in 2014.

Longtime Ganassi and Kanaan partner NTT DATA, and longtime Kanaan sponsor Bryant, will both have primary paint schemes as well as associate-level relationships on the #48 as well as other entries, to be driven by Scott Dixon, Alex Palou and Marcus Ericsson.

“It’s hard to express in words how excited I am about this announcement,” said Kanaan, the 2004 IndyCar champion. “When Chip and I first started to talk about the opportunity to drive the ovals and share the #48 with Jimmie Johnson, I couldn’t imagine that we would reach an agreement this fast.

“Chip Ganassi Racing is at the pinnacle of motorsports in North America and being able to be part of the program once again with such great drivers in their lineup is a dream come true.

“I've also been very fortunate to enjoy great relationships with my sponsors throughout my career and having companies like Bryant and NTT DATA supporting me once again is a testament to that. Both Bryant and NTT DATA have been with me through different teams, wins and even life events. Being able to continue to represent these companies is truly an honor. 

Chip Ganassi added: “As the Indy car driver market trends younger and younger, experience is something that cannot be taught – especially at the Indianapolis 500. There is no one more experienced in the paddock than Tony, and when we needed the right fit for rounding out our oval program, it was clear he was the right choice.

“We are very familiar with NTT DATA and Bryant over the years and are excited to have both companies back with this program.

“Tony also knows our team, he knows our system and he knows our drivers. We expect the combination of him and Jimmie to give us the one-two punch we’re looking for in the #48.”

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