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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

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Indy Racing League.  July 31-Aug. !, 2009. Kentucky Speedway. Sparta, Ky. USA. Tony Kanaan resting in car before practice.
Ryan Hunter-Reay enters 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 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)
Simon Pagenaud berates Ryan Hunter-Reay after their crash in turn 3 near the end of the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana on Sunday April 12 2015. (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Sebastien Bourdais crash in turn 3 near the end of the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana on Sunday April 12 2015. (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Sebastien Bourdais crash in turn 3 near the end of the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana on Sunday April 12 2015. (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Sebastien Bourdais crash in turn 3 near the end of the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana on Sunday April 12 2015. (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
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)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, March 29, 2015 after winning the Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, March 29, 2015 after winning the Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, celebrates Saturday, March 28, 2015, after winning the pole position for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. Power, the defending champion driver of the series, led his Chevrolet Team Penske teammates to a 1-2-3-4 qualifying sweep. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, celebrates Saturday, March 28, 2015, after winning the pole position for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. Power, the defending champion driver of the series, led his Chevrolet Team Penske teammates to a 1-2-3-4 qualifying sweep. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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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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