One of These Drivers is Out at Andretti Autosport

Sandra MacWattersCorrespondent IOctober 31, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS - MAY 15:  Marco Andretti (L), Danica Patrick and Tony Kanaan (R) all of Andretti Autosport have a few laughs prior to taking the track during opening day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 15, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana.   (Photo by Ron Hoskins/Getty Images)
Ron Hoskins/Getty Images

Andretti Autosport had four teams during the 2010 season, but for the 2011 season, one driver has been released from their contract.

Tony Kanaan, the 2004 IndyCar Champion has been released from his contract at Andretti Motorsports leaving Danica Patrick, Marco Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay. 

Kanaan finished sixth in the point standings this year with one win, seven Top Five finishes and 13 Top 10's.  Problems started when 7-Eleven announced it would not return as a primary sponsor next year.  Reports of he and Patrick having internal disputes were supposedly settled, but Kanaan was not happy with Patrick at the season finale as they fought for a second place finish.

Kanaan spoke of his eight years with Michael Andretti saying, "We created some great memories that I will cherish, and we have much to be proud of."

Ryan Hunter-Reay has been signed to a two-year contract that keeps him in place at Andretti Autosport through 2012.  Michael Andretti, team owner, said, "He is a driver that has earned the right to have that kind of stability, and we feel very fortunate to know he will be a major piece of our foundation."

Danica Patrick remains signed through 2011 with her GoDaddy No. 7 open-wheel car.  Patrick finished 10th in points for this past season, showing three top-five's and eight top-10 finishes this year.

Marco Andretti is signed through 2011 as well, finishing eighth in points this season with four top-five's and eight top-10 finishes.  Hunter-Reay finished one position ahead of him at the end of 2010 with seventh place in the point standings.

Kanaan, the popular Brazilian, certainly should be desirable as a free agent especially if he can hook up with a sponsorship that he can bring to the table.

At this point, it looks as though Andretti Autosport will field just three teams in 2011.

Patrick's future beyond 2011 is a toss-up between IndyCar and NASCAR.  She has a lot to prove in NASCAR, where she will continue to run in the Nationwide series next year, just as she is this season.