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Hunter-Reay stays, Kanaan out at Andretti

Andretti Autosports announces that veteran Tony Kanaan is to leave the team, as Ryan Hunter-Reay is signed to a two-year deal alongside Marco Andretti and Danica Patrick.
Tony Kanaan is leaving Andretti Autosports after the team officially declared him a free agent, and formally released him to chase other opportunities.

But the team is re-signing Ryan Hunter-Reay, in a deal that will see him drive with the team through to the end of 2012.

Hunter-Reay, 29, joined the team this season, winning the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and finishing 7th overall, after dividing time between Vision Racing and AJ Foyt Racing in 2009. Initially the deal for this year was for only part of the season but Michael Andretti was able to find enough funding to extend it and now to ink a two year deal, despite the news that primary sponsor IZOD was reducing its backing.

"I couldn't be happier knowing my future is with Andretti Autosport," said Hunter-Reay. "Starting the job in October, rather than in March, will be a luxury I've never had before. I look to become a title contender throughout the season."

"We're thrilled to be able to sign Ryan to a multi-year contract,” said team boss Michael Andretti. "We recognized early on that Ryan is that 'total package' both on and off the track and that is why we all worked so hard to keep Ryan for the full season this year." Andretti added that he is close to announcing a sponsor to replace IZOD on Hunter-Reay's car

The deal means Hunter-Reay lines up alongside Marco Andretti and Danica Patrick, leaving insufficient sponsorship to allow the team to continue running Tony Kanaan as well. "It is difficult to believe that Andretti Autosport and Tony Kanaan will no longer be competing together, but that is now a reality with the signing of this agreement," said Andretti.

"Given the timing of that notification, we felt it was important to give Tony the freedom to review his options outside of Andretti Autosport," Andretti continued in a statement released by the team. "We did not want to prevent him from furthering his career in the event we could not arrive at a reasonable solution for him for 2011."

Although Kanaan echoed the thanks and praise back to the team, he was clearly less than entirely happy with the situation:"I don't agree with some things and it's very disappointing but I have no hard feelings," he told speedtv.com. "It's sad because I wanted to be there. It's been my home for nine years and I have a lot of great memories but it's life, it's reality, and now I've got to find a new home."



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Indy Racing League.  July 31-Aug. !, 2009. Kentucky Speedway. Sparta, Ky. USA. Tony Kanaan resting in car before practice.
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Hawk Performance Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to an 11th-place finish Sunday, August 2, 2015, during the Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Montoya retains the overall driver`s championship points lead with two races left in the season. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to an fourth-place finish Sunday, August 2, 2015, during the Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Hunter-Reay waits in his pit stand prior to practice for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay rolls down pit lane for practice for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay takes the twin checkers to win the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
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)
Ryan Hunter-Reay on track during practice for the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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JOHN - Unregistered

October 31, 2010 5:01 PM

Might be for the best Tony. Its not that all good things have to come to an end- being sacked has led to other people going on to do far better things. Things they would never have otherwise have achieved.



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