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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.
Tony Kanaan chats with teammate Scott Dixon during qualifications for the Iowa Corn Indy 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan and Helio Castroneves set up for Turn 1 during practice for the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan sets up for Turn 1 during practice for the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan sets up for Turn 3 during practice for the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya, Marco Andretti, and Graham Rahal barrel into Turn 1 during practice for the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan streaks past the start/finish line during practice for the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Matt Brabham tests with Andretti Autosport at Iowa Speedway
Matt Brabham tests with Andretti Autosport at Iowa Speedway
Matt Brabham tests with Andretti Autosport at Iowa Speedway
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6 races to a second-place finish Saturday, June 27, 2015, in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Perry Nelson/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Marco Andretti, Tony Kanaan, and Graham Rahal go three-wide going into Turn 1 during the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
The podium of Graham Rahal, Tony Kanaan, and Marco Andretti hoist their trophies on Victory Lane following the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California on Saturday, June 27 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
The podium of Graham Rahal, Tony Kanaan, and Marco Andretti hoist their trophies on Victory Lane following the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California on Saturday, June 27 2015. (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Marco Andretti on pit lane after qualifications for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves and Marco Andretti go side-by-side during practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon, Ed Carpenter, and Tony Kanaan go three-wide during practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Energizer Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, celebrates his victory with teammate Tony Kanaan Saturday, June 6, 2015, after winning the Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone 600 race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Canaan, driver of the #10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet finished in second-place. (Photo by Russell LaBounty/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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