Could the ranks at Team Penske or Target-Chip Ganassi swell by one following the 2008 season?
Rumors are swirling that Tony Kanaan wants out of Andretti-Green Racing, and IndyCar's top two teams are the leading candidates for his future home.
Kanaan began racing for AGR in 2003 following its move from ChampCar to IndyCar. However, in the years since, Kanaan has never found himself as the only veteran Indy racer on the team.
Following Dario Franchitti's departure for NASCAR following the 2007 season, Bryan Herta's move to LeMans, and Dan Wheldon's move to Ganassi, Kanaan found himself as the only veteran racer on a team filled with young stars.
In recent races, the performance of the 7-11 car and its driver has been uncharacteristic, specifically on-track run-ins with teammate Marco Andretti, including the incident that ended Kanaan's Indianapolis 500.
Kanaan has repeatedly stated that Andretti is not causing his issues. However, radio transmissions during the race at Texas Motor Speedway indicate differently. Publicly, Kanaan refuses to acknowledge rumors of his leaving AGR, stating instead that his performance during this season is his main focus, not his potential departure.
Although AGR has been his home during his tenure in IndyCar, including his 2004 IndyCar series championship, multiple other teams could be a good fit for the Brazilian.
The recent success of Ryan Briscoe has made Penske a less likely candidate, however, both Ganassi and Penske have the funding to field an additional car, especially if driven by someone of Kanaan's caliber. In addition, other less public teams, specifically Panther Racing's one-car operation (currently the home of Vitor Miera), could be expanded and become a comfortable place if Kanaan can bring the funding and sponsorships he currently has with him.
No matter the outcome of the 2008 season, Andretti-Green Racing will find itself in a very tumultuous position given its struggles throughout the year, both internally and on the racetrack.