A.J. Foyt Racing confirms Tony Kanaan for 2018

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Tony Kanaan’s immediate future in the Verizon IndyCar Series, which has been in a state of flux most of the summer, was settled earlier today with A.J. Foyt Racing confirming that the 42-year-old Kanaan will be joining the team as a driver of the No. 14 ABC Supply Co. Chevrolet.

The official confirmation came at an event at the Foyt Wine Vault in downtown Speedway, Ind. Kanaan tweeted the picture, along with longtime engineer Eric Cowdin who is also making the move, below. Cowdin will be both Kanaan’s race engineer and the team technical director.

Additionally, long-time partner ABC Supply Co. has extended its contract in a new multi-year deal. And for the first time since 1966, the No. 14 car will be operated out of a location other than Texas as it will move to Foyt’s Indianapolis race shop. The No. 4 car will now be based in the Waller, Texas race shop. There has been no decision made on the driver of the No. 4 car.

“We’ve talked to Tony for the last couple of years and I’m just glad we were able to put something together because I know he wants to win as bad as we do,” A.J. Foyt said. “I think he still has two or three good years in him. He’s always been a hard charger and I like somebody who wants to charge hard.”

Kanaan added, “I just thought it was a great opportunity for me to build something where we can make history, and for me that’s what racing’s all about,” said Kanaan, who signed a multi-year contract to drive for Foyt. “Yes it is about the wins, but it’s also about the people, the people that you’re associated with. We’re going to make some history.”

Kanaan contested the previous four years with Chip Ganassi Racing in its No. 10 entry, but rumors of an uncertain future persisted throughout the 2017 IndyCar season, with he and the team even appearing to be at odds after he was parked during the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline at Gateway Motorsports Park in August.

A.J. Foyt Racing, too, struggled in 2017, as they adapted the Chevrolet engines and aero kits after being a Honda team since 2012.

However, stronger results beckoned in the second half of the season, with Conor scoring three top tens in the final five races (including a fifth-place finish at Gateway, the team’s best of the year) with teammate Carlos Munoz scoring three consecutive top tens at Pocono, Gateway, and Watkins Glen in the second half of the year.

Kanaan will pilot the No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet in 2018. Photo: IndyCar. Photo: IndyCar

Tony DiZinno contributed to this report 

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 3 p.m. to USA Network.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III