You knew after Roger Penske signed Juan Montoya that, Chip Ganassi was going to have to counter. That move came today, as last year’s Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan signed a contract to drive for Ganassi’s team beginning next season. The popular Brazilian driver joins a team that already features a combined 4 Indianapolis 500 wins and 6 series championships.
Much will be made about how close these two sides came in 2008, before Kanaan ultimately decided to stay with Michael Andretti’s team. The past is the past, and the future is 2014. While Chip would have loved to get James Hinchcliffe, it just wasn’t in the cards. What they didn’t get, is chopped liver. Tony is a champion, and a winner at Indianapolis. His resume is as good as it gets, and this next chapter of his career is going to be fun to watch.
The two major dominos of this Silly Season (Kanaan & Hinchcliffe) have taken shape. With that, the three “big teams” will all have impressive driver lineups next season. There is no clear-cut leader of the three, because there are so many questions with each of them.
Andretti Autosport started out hot, but faded halfway through the season. Can Hinchcliffe and Hunter-Reay regain their form? Is Marco finally ready to capture a championship? Team Penske has a wild card too, with Montoya. How will Castroneves perform after this incredible season? The biggest question might be, will Will Power remember that he’s Will Power?
Jimmy Vasser made an offer to Tony to stay with KV Racing, which didn’t require Tony bringing any money. Still, it’s hard to turn down an offer from Chip Ganassi. This team now has three very accomplished drivers, and a nice young talent in Kimball. There are still plenty of driver moves to come, but this one will prove to be one of the biggest. Jenna Fryer and Robin Miller first reported on Kanaan’s move to Chip Ganassi Racing.