Report: Kanaan linked to Ganassi switch, but status unofficial (UPDATED)

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According to the Associated Press’ Jenna Fryer, reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Tony Kanaan will move to Chip Ganassi Racing’s IndyCar team in 2014. Sources spoke on condition of anonymity because no official announcement has been made.

No indication was given as to whether this would be a Target-backed car or fall under the auspices of the “G2” program operated out of Brownsburg, the shop where Charlie Kimball resides. As it is, Kanaan would be the fourth driver alongside Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti and Kimball.

Kanaan would serve as the first major domino to fall in the driver front for the 2014 IndyCar Series silly season. We surmised recently that Kanaan was one of the two likeliest options to move to Ganassi, along with Andretti Autosport’s James Hinchcliffe, with the likelihood that Ganassi would bring its fourth car out of a one-year hiatus.

This would not come as a major surprise given Kanaan raced for Ganassi’s GRAND-AM Rolex Series team in Indianapolis and has said he would need to package the sponsorship to stay at KV. He has achieved two major career milestones with Jimmy Vasser and Kevin Kalkhoven’s team, with the Indianapolis 500 victory and his record-setting 212th straight start at Baltimore last race.

Hinchcliffe would now be all but a cinch to stay with Andretti in a fifth car, with a consortium of sponsors likely because GoDaddy is mulling whether it wants to stay on as a primary sponsor.

For KV, the situation could be less clear. This would leave just Simona de Silvestro and a second seat likely to go to the highest bidder, if at all. Stay tuned.

UPDATE, 6:15 p.m. ET: The AP report was refuted by a further report by the Indianapolis Star‘s Curt Cavin posted later this afternoon, with quotes from both Kanaan and Vasser.

Kanaan said he doesn’t have a deal either way, and Vasser has said two offers have been made to him – the latter and updated one noting he would not need to bring any funding on his own. Vasser also cited a desire to “keep the band together,” referring to a cast and crew Kanaan has worked with the majority of his career, including engineer Eric Cowdin.

I’d tend to agree with this tweet Cavin offered later, in that if Ganassi wants Kanaan, he’ll get him.

As ever though, nothing is official until the team entity – whichever team – announces it.

Recapping the 2018 Dakar Rally with “best of” video highlights

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EDITOR’S NOTE: NBCSN will air additional Dakar Rally highlights on Monday at 7 p.m. ET.

As it has done so for four decades, the 40th annual Dakar Rally – the most grueling test of man and machine anywhere – produced a number of surprise finishes and also several disappointments for drivers or riders who were expected to do well in the nearly 5,600-mile trek that began in Peru and continued through Bolivia and ending in Argentina.

NBCSN has aired highlights from all 14 stages (actually 13, because one stage was completely rained out) during the Rally’s two-week run, which concluded Saturday.

Here’s some of the “best of” highlights from the overall Rally highlights, followed by a quick guide that gives you wrapups to all 14 stages.

So, without further adieu, here’s NBCSN’s “best of” the 2018 Dakar Rally:

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of cars

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of bikes

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of trucks

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of quads

Lastly, here’s a day-by-day wrapup of how the Rally played out.

MORE: Dakar Rally daily stages schedule, NBCSN broadcast schedule, list of all competitors.

MORE: Stage 14 overall Rally wrapup

MORE: Stage 13 wrapup

MORE: Stage 12 wrapup

MORE: Stage 11 wrapup

MORE: Stage 10 wrapup

MORE: Stage 9 cancelled due to weather, impassible course conditions

MORE: Stage 8 wrapup

MORE: Stage 7 wrapup

MORE: Stage 6 wrapup

MORE: Stage 5 wrapup

MORE: Stage 4 wrapup

MORE: Stage 3 wrapup

MORE: Stage 2 wrapup

MORE: Stage 1 wrapup