By Mike Kitchel
(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) – Tony Kanaan, who closed his first season with Chip Ganassi Racing Teams with a victory in the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series season finale at Auto Club Speedway, will return to the No. 10 car with NTT DATA as the primary sponsor.
The 2004 Verizon IndyCar Series champion and 2013 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race winner recorded five podium finishes in the final seven races of 2014. He’ll continue the legacy of the No. 10 car, which boasts 20 wins by Kanaan, Dario Franchitti (13), and Dan Wheldon (6) dating to 2006.
“I can’t wait to begin working with everyone at NTT DATA,” Kanaan said. “I know and have worked with them before so this will be great. As for the team, we really started to come together at the end of last season and although we ended on a high note with the win in Fontana I think we had a legitimate chance to win a few more times. We have a year under our belt working together now and I expect to be contending more consistently in 2015.”
NTT DATA, with its U.S. headquarters in Plano, Texas, began its relationship with the team on the No. 8 car driven by Ryan Briscoe in 2013 at the Indianapolis 500 and maintained an associate partnership role on the No. 83 car of Charlie Kimball. It also fielded a car co-driven by Kanaan at the IMSA Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. NTT DATA became a primary sponsor on the No. 8 entry driven by Briscoe for the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series season and is the official IT services partner to Chip Ganassi Racing Teams.
“NTT DATA has been a great partner for the last couple of years and we are looking forward to much success and a long partnership with them,” Ganassi said. “Also, I think TK had a far better year than the numbers would indicate and his win in Fontana gives him and the team great momentum as we head into 2015.”
Earlier this week, it was announced that three-time Verizon IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon would return for his 14th season with the team. He’ll drive the No. 9 Target car.
Dixon, who finished third in the 2014 championship standings, moved into a tie for fifth with Bobby Unser on the all-time Indy car wins list. All but one of his 35 victories have come as a member of Team Target.
Dixon and NASCAR driver Kyle Larson will be featured in 2015 in a new Target motorsports marketing program, according to Target vice president of experiential marketing and alliances Dan Griffis.
“Target is proud of our 25-year partnership with Chip Ganassi Racing and we look forward to a successful season in 2015,” he said. “The new marketing initiatives will allow Target to remain one of the most recognizable brands in each series, both on and off the track.”