IndyCar: NTT Data moves Ganassi sponsorship to Tony Kanaan’s No. 10 car

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With Target choosing to move some of its racing sponsorship spending toward promoting its drivers in both the Verizon IndyCar Series and NASCAR, it turns out that only one IndyCar will have the familiar bulls-eye on the sidepod in 2015.

While Scott Dixon will retain the Target colors on his No. 9 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing has announced that his teammate, Tony Kanaan, will take over the NTT Data sponsorship for his No. 10 program. Last season, NTT was the main backer for Ryan Briscoe on Ganassi’s No. 8 machine (pictured, right).

“I can’t wait to begin working with everyone at NTT Data,” Kanaan, the former series champion and Indy 500 winner said in a release. “I know and have worked with them before so this will be great.

“As for the team, we really started to come together at the end of last season and although we ended on a high note with the win in Fontana, I think we had a legitimate chance to win a few more times.

“We have a year under our belt working together now and I expect to be contending more consistently in 2015.”

Today’s announcement is actually a revival of the original plan that NTT Data and Ganassi had in mind when Kanaan (along with engine manufacturer Chevy) were announced to be joining the team in 2014 during the 2013 doubleheader weekend at Houston.

Unfortunately, during that same event, Dario Franchitti suffered a devastating crash that caused injuries serious enough to force him to retire from the sport.

A short time later, Kanaan was chosen to take over Franchitti’s No. 10 Target car for 2014, while the NTT Data backing shifted to Briscoe and the No. 8. It must be noted, however, that the No. 10 machine has featured multiple sponsorships from Target’s vendors in addition to the department store giant itself.

In the 2014 season finale at Fontana, Kanaan broke through for his first victory with the team after a strong run in the second half of the year that featured additional podium finishes at Iowa, both Toronto races, and Milwaukee.

That leaves his boss confident in more success from the Brazilian fan favorite.

“We had planned to have NTT Data and TK partnered together last season but with Dario’s injury we had to move things around a little bit,” team owner Chip Ganassi said today in a statement. “NTT Data has been a great partner for the last couple of years and we are looking forward to much success and a long partnership with them.

“Also, I think TK had a far better year than the numbers would indicate and his win in Fontana gives him and the team great momentum as we head into 2015.”

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.