Now, this is teamwork.
Chip Ganassi Racing has signed Tony Kanaan to share the No. 48 car with Jimmie Johnson during the 2021 IndyCar season.
Johnson is making the switch from NASCAR, but will only take part in road and street course events, due to his personal safety concerns about racing on the high-speed oval tracks.
Kanaan has been competing at the top level of open-wheel racing for over two decades and has 17 wins under his belt, including the 2013 Indy 500. The 46-year-old will be back there next May, along with races at Gateway and the Texas Motor Speedway doubleheader.
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“I was on the way out and all of a sudden I get a call from Jimmie about running the ovals. He kept saying ‘Doesn’t this make sense?’” Kanaan told The Associated Press. “They didn’t have to twist my arm to come back, especially with Jimmie and Chip.”
Kanaan had planned for 2020 to be his farewell season, but after most races were held with either limited or no fans in attendance due to the coronavirus pandemic, he is looking forward to the opportunity to share his swansong in front of packed grandstands next year.
“Because of the pandemic, I expressed a desire to come back and do ovals. I never said I wanted to do a full season because I was realistic. So, this is just too good to refuse,” Kanaan said.
The Brazilian previously drove for Ganassi from 2014-2017.
“As the Indy car driver market trends younger and younger, experience is something that cannot be taught — especially at the Indianapolis 500,” team owner Chip Ganassi said.
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“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.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report