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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.
Marco Andretti in pit lane (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Marco Andretti and father/team boss Michael Andretti at IMS (Photo by: Dana Garrett for IndyCar Media)
Marco Andretti enters Turn 1 during the Oval Open Test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Marco Andretti in the cockpit (Photo by: Dana Garrett for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan apexes Turn 10 during practice for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Friday April 17 2015. (Photo by Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6 races to a sixth-place finish Sunday, April 12, 2015 during the Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Louisiana at NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale, Louisiana. (Photo by Russell LaBounty/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Marco Andretti waits for the rain to stop for qualifying at NOLA Motorsports Park. Saturday April 11 2015. (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan sits in his Chevrolet machine prior to practice for the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana at NOLA Motorsports Park. Friday April 10 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan on course during practice for the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana at NOLA Motorsports Park. Friday April 10 2015. (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan on course during practice for the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana at NOLA Motorsports Park. Friday April 10 2015. (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates winning the 2015 Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg with third-place finisher Tony Kanaan (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power (left), driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6; and Tony Kanaan (right), driver of the #10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6; celebrate with Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, who raced to victory Sunday, March 29, 2015 winning the Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. Power finished second. Kanaan finished third. Chevrolet took the top six places in the first race of the season. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
The Andretti Autosport team go to work on Ryan Hunter-Reay`s car on pit lane in St. Petersburg on Friday March 27 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Matt Brabham, Andretti Autosport, Indy Lights [Credit: Matt Brabham]
Marco Andretti navigates the Turn 8-9 Esses complex during Tuesday`s Open Test sessions at Barber Motorsports Park on March 17 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ganassi team mates Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan talk tactics Graham Rahal during open testing at Barber Motorsport Park on Monday March 16 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Bryan Herta Autosport 2015 Indy 500 entry sponsored by Green1. (Picture Credit: Bryan Herta Autosport)

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