A.J. Foyt Racing confirms Tony Kanaan for 2018
Tony Kanaan’s immediate future in the Verizon IndyCar Series, which has been in a state of flux most of the summer, was settled earlier today with A.J. Foyt Racing confirming that the 42-year-old Kanaan will be joining the team as a driver of the No. 14 ABC Supply Co. Chevrolet.
The official confirmation came at an event at the Foyt Wine Vault in downtown Speedway, Ind. Kanaan tweeted the picture, along with longtime engineer Eric Cowdin who is also making the move, below. Cowdin will be both Kanaan’s race engineer and the team technical director.
Additionally, long-time partner ABC Supply Co. has extended its contract in a new multi-year deal. And for the first time since 1966, the No. 14 car will be operated out of a location other than Texas as it will move to Foyt’s Indianapolis race shop. The No. 4 car will now be based in the Waller, Texas race shop. There has been no decision made on the driver of the No. 4 car.
“We’ve talked to Tony for the last couple of years and I’m just glad we were able to put something together because I know he wants to win as bad as we do,” A.J. Foyt said. “I think he still has two or three good years in him. He’s always been a hard charger and I like somebody who wants to charge hard.”
Kanaan added, “I just thought it was a great opportunity for me to build something where we can make history, and for me that’s what racing’s all about,” said Kanaan, who signed a multi-year contract to drive for Foyt. “Yes it is about the wins, but it’s also about the people, the people that you’re associated with. We’re going to make some history.”
Kanaan contested the previous four years with Chip Ganassi Racing in its No. 10 entry, but rumors of an uncertain future persisted throughout the 2017 IndyCar season, with he and the team even appearing to be at odds after he was parked during the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline at Gateway Motorsports Park in August.
A.J. Foyt Racing, too, struggled in 2017, as they adapted the Chevrolet engines and aero kits after being a Honda team since 2012.
However, stronger results beckoned in the second half of the season, with Conor scoring three top tens in the final five races (including a fifth-place finish at Gateway, the team’s best of the year) with teammate Carlos Munoz scoring three consecutive top tens at Pocono, Gateway, and Watkins Glen in the second half of the year.
Tony DiZinno contributed to this report