Chip Ganassi Racing announced Monday that it has signed IndyCar veteran Tony Kanaan to a multi-year deal to drive its No. 48 Honda entry for the four ovals on the calendar, complementing the 13 road and street course events being contested in that car by seven-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson.
The move means that Kanaan, who counts an Indy 500 win among his 17 IndyCar victories, will rejoin the team for which he raced from 2014-2017 alongside Johnson, former teammate and six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon, Marcus Ericsson and CGR newcomer Alex Palou.
Longtime CGR and Kanaan partner NTT DATA along with Bryant — also a longtime sponsor of Kanaan and former sponsor of the Ganassi team — return to CGR and will both have primary paint schemes as well as associate-level relationships on the No. 48 Honda and other CGR entries that will soon be announced.
“It’s hard to express in words how excited I am about this announcement. When Chip and I first started to talk about the opportunity to drive the ovals and share the No. 48 with Jimmie Johnson I couldn’t imagine that we would reach an agreement this fast,” Kanaan said. “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 line-up 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.”
Team owner Chip Ganassi commented: “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 No. 48.”