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Kanaan loses primary sponsor

Tony Kanaan may be left without a seat in 2011 after 7-Eleven announced that it is pulling out of sponsoring the Andretti Autosport #11 car
Tony Kanaan's future in Indycar was thrown into doubt by the announcement that the primary sponsor of the #11 car, 7-Eleven, Inc. has notified Andretti Autosport that it will not continue in that role in 2011.

That means that while Kanaan's contract with Andretti Autosport has another three years to run, it's unclear if Michael Andretti's team can afford to pay him unless they can replace 7-Eleven as the main sponsor. Kanaan is due more than $3 million per season, based on the contract signed in August 2008.

"Our hope is to have Tony Kanaan and the 11 car as part of our IZOD IndyCar Series lineup again in 2011 and we are currently working very hard to find the necessary sponsorship to make that a reality," said Andretti Autosport senior vice president and chief marketing officer John Lopes.

"In the meantime,and although he remains under contract with Andretti Autosport, we have given Tony and his management the permission to talk with other team owners to explore what other alternatives might be available at this time."

The news comes just days after one of Kanaan's best runs of the season, finishing third just behind his team mate Danica Patrick at Homestead-Miami. Kanaan had one race victory this season at Iowa in June and was the team's highest placed driver in the four-car squad, finishing in sixth.

Kanaan has been with Andretti Autosport since the start of 2003 as the series transitioned from Champ Car to Indycar, winning pole position in his first appearance for the team and winning the team's first victory two weeks later at Phoenix. He has 14 championship career wins and 102 top ten finishes to his credit since his series debut in the 2002 Indianapolis 500, and won the series championship in 2004.

7-Eleven have confirmed that they will remain an associate (minor) sponsor of the #7 GoDaddy.com car driven by Patrick.



Related Pictures

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6-8 August, 2010. Lexington, Ohio #11 Team 7-Eleven Andretti Autosport`s Tony Kanaan.
Jack Hawksworth and Marco Andretti crash during a restart attempt. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Charlie Kimball, Tony Kanaan, Helio Castroneves, Takuma Sato, Mike Conway, Will Power, Scott Dixon, James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan, Takuma Sato, Mike Conway, Scott Dixon, James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Dario Franchitti jokes with Tony Kanaan during his press conference at the Target Chip Ganassi Racing offices. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
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Tony Kanaan gets acclimated to his new car as mechanic Steve Namisnak makes adjustments to a mirror prior to a test at Sebring International Raceway on December 4, 2013. (Photo Credit: Dave Lewandowski for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan, left, and Charlie Kimball, center, compare notes during some downtime at a Chip Ganassi Racing test day at Sebring International Raceway on December 4, 2013. (Photo Credit: Dave Lewandowski for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan sits in his NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing car during a test day at Sebring International Raceway on December 4, 2013. (Photo Credit: Dave Lewandowski for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan discusses his car with engineer Eric Cowdin during a Chip Ganassi Racing team test day at Sebring International Raceway on December 4, 2013. (Photo Credit: Dave Lewandowski for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan prepares to test his NTT Data car at Sebring International Raceway on December 4, 2013. (Photo Credit: Dave Lewandowski for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan watches on as Charlie Kimball sits in his car during a Chip Ganassi Racing team test day at Sebring International Raceway on December 4, 2013. (Photo Credit: Dave Lewandowski for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates on the podium with Ed Carpenter and Tony Kanaan after the IndyCar finale, MATV 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana California on Saturday, October 19, 2013. (Picture Credit: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, center, celebrates his win with 2nd place Ed Carpenter, driver of the #20 Fuzzy’s Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet, left, and 3rd place Tony Kannan, driver of the #11 Hydroxycut KV Racing Technology - SS Racing Chevrolet, right, Saturday, October 19, 2013 in the IndyCar finale, MATV 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana California. (Photo Credit: Michael L. Levitt for Chevy Racing)
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Andretti Autosport team mates Marco Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay in action at night under the floodlights at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana California during practice for the MAVTV 500 2013 season finale. (Photo Credit: John Cote for IndyCar Media.)
Marco Andretti ready for action at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana California during practice for the MAVTV 500 2013 season finale. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media.)
Will Power (right), driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, celebrates his victory with James Hinchcliffe, driver of the #27 GoDaddy Pink Andretti Autosport Chevrolet, Sunday October 6, 2013 during the Grand Prix of Houston IndyCar Race 2 in Houston, Texas. Hinchcliffe finished third. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt for Chevy Racing)

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