Chip Ganassi Racing announced on Monday that NTT IndyCar Series veteran and 2013 Indianapolis 500 champion Tony Kanaan will return to the team in 2021 to compete in the oval races sharing the No.48 Honda alongside Jimmie Johnson for oval races only including the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbrridge in May 2021.
Kanaan drove for Ganassi from 2014 to 2017 before moving to AJ Foyt Racing and speaking about his return to the team the Brazilian said:
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. 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.
Kananan returns to Ganassi with sponsorship from long-term partner Bryant and speaking about the news, Justin Keppy, President, North America Residential & Light Commercial, Bryant:
“We’re excited to extend our relationship with Tony for the 2021 season. Bryant has been a long-time supporter of Tony, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and the Indianapolis 500 and we’re pleased that it will continue. Tony embodies all of the qualities that the Bryant brand stands for, including our mantra of always doing Whatever it Takes® in order to get the job done. Our racing sponsorship is something that our distributors and dealers really enjoy and we’re looking forward to sharing it with them next year.”
Kanaan will also receive sponsorship from NTT DATA who sponsored the Brazilian during his previous spell with the team and speaking about the news, David Croxville, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, NTT DATA Services:said:
We are thrilled to welcome back Tony to Chip Ganassi Racing and for NTT DATA to have the opportunity to reunite with him. Tony has been an outstanding ambassador for NTT DATA over the years and remains an integral part of our company’s legacy in the sport, including driving the NTT DATA car at Ganassi from 2015-17. All NTT DATA Racing fans will look forward to having one of the sport’s most popular drivers represent us again.
Chip Ganassi, team owner of Chip Ganassi Racing commented saying:
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.”
Chip Ganassi Racing will have a fantastic line up for 2021 with defending series champion, Scott Dixon in the No.9 PNC Bank Honda, Marcus Ericsson in the No.8 Huski Chocolate Honda, Alex Palou in the No.10 NTT DATA Honda, Jimmie Johnson No.48 Carvana Honda and Tony Kanaan in the No.48 Bryant Honda (ovals).