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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.
Simon Pagenaud and Ryan Briscoe go wheel-to-wheel during the Open Test at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
The cars of Ryan Briscoe and Sebastien Bourdais go off course during the start of the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
The cars of Ryan Briscoe and Sebastien Bourdais go off course during the start of the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
The cars of Ryan Briscoe and Sebastien Bourdais go off course during the start of the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
The field scatters as the drivers avoid the cars of Sebastien Bourdais and Ryan Briscoe at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Scott Dixon and Simon Pagenaud on the podium after the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 24, 2014, winning the IndyCar race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Hunter-Reay on pit lane prior to the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates capturing the pole Saturday, August 23, 2014, with the fastest qualifying time for Sunday`s IndyCar race at at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates capturing the pole Saturday, August 23, 2014, with the fastest qualifying time for Sunday`s IndyCar race at at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power (right), driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, is congratulated by teammate Helio Castroneves after capturing the pole Saturday, August 23, 2014 with the fastest qualifying time for Sunday`s IndyCar race at at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 captures the pole Saturday, August 23, 2014, with the fastest qualifying time for Sunday`s IndyCar race at at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Hunter-Reay navigates the Turn 9 Esses during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya, Will Power and Tony Kanaan on the podium after the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest on Sunday August 17 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
The confetti flies as Will Power, Juan Pablo Montoya, and Tony Kanaan raise their trophies in Victory Lane (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power (center), driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 17, 2014 with second-place finisher Juan Pablo Montoya (left), driver of the #2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet, and Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Huggies Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Briscoe enters Turn 3 during practice for the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at the Milwaukee Mile (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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