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Tony Kanaan, 7-Eleven reunited at Ganassi

Chevy 500

FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 17: Tony Kanaan, driver of the #11 Andretti Green Racing Team 7-Eleven Honda Dallara, celebrates winning the championship at the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series Chevy 500 October 17, 2004 at the Texas Motor Speeday in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Darrell Ingham/Getty Images)

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Tony Kanaan’s No. 11 7-Eleven Honda is arguably the most memorable car of his Verizon IndyCar Series career, when he drove for the team known as Andretti Green Racing, later Andretti Autosport, from 2003 to 2010. He won a boat load of races and the 2004 series championship.

As “TK” is back for his fourth year with Chip Ganassi Racing Teams this year, and also back in a Honda for the first time in several years, he’ll also be back in a 7-Eleven-sponsored car.

While NTT Data remains the primary sponsor of his No. 10 Honda, Ganassi that 7-Eleven will be an associate sponsor at select races in the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season (St. Petersburg, Long Beach, Indianapolis, and Texas).

The partnership between 7-Eleven, Inc., CGR, and Kanaan comes 14 years after the leading convenience retail chain first backed the Brazilian, in 2003.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling to be back in the 7-Eleven family,” Kanaan said. “7-Eleven was my home for most of my career in INDYCAR and they were with me for 14 out of my 17 wins. It’s definitely special to have them with me to celebrate my 20th INDYCAR season and I’m looking forward to getting them to victory circle again like we did many times in the past.

“The 7-Eleven car was a staple in the Verizon IndyCar Series for years and most of my fans still come to me and talk about how great of a run we had together. It’s natural for me to be excited that we are reuniting forces now at Chip Ganassi Racing.”

“We’re really excited to have 7-Eleven joining the team for the 2017 season and it’s great to see them back in the sport,” said Ganassi team president Steve Lauletta. “They have such a strong history with Tony and we’re just glad that we can be a part of bringing that relationship back into racing. It’s a huge milestone for Tony to be celebrating his 20th season in INDYCAR and I think 7-Eleven is a perfect partner to come on board and be a part of the celebration.”

Added Joe DePinto, 7-Eleven CEO and President: “Tony has proven himself to be an enthusiastic brand ambassador, both for the sport of racing and for 7-Eleven. Whenever he and the show car made a store appearance, crowds of customers would turn out to meet him. Tony would stay and sign photographs and talk to 7-Eleven customers for hours. He is a winner in everything he does.”

Follow @TonyDiZinno