Following a wreck in the final race of the season, Dario Franchitti injured his back. He has been told that he will fully recover from the injuries, however has been told that he will not be able to race again due to concerns of sustaining a worst injury if he wrecks once again.
While everyone has taken time to adjust to the news that Franchitti won’t be back in 2014, another question has surfaced amongst the discussions – who will be behind the wheel of the No. 10 Target IndyCar?
In speaking about the situation surrounding Franchitti, team owner Chip Ganassi stated that he has Target’s full support on the situation and hopes to be able to announce something in the future.
Original plans had Target-Ganassi Racing having four teams in 2014 – Franchitti, Scott Dixon and Charlie Kimball. Those plans have slightly been adjusted as of this announcement from Franchitti.
As the same with this past season, he will have Dixon aboard the sister Target car with Kimball aboard the No. 83 car. Ganassi has also signed Kanaan to jump on board with the team for 2014 and drive the team’s No. 8 car. Kanaan may jump into the No. 10 with Franchitti’s old team, Ganassi says that it’s not public information yet as there’s a decision to be made.
“I understand where you're going with that question,” Ganassi commented. “The question was, if you were to ask, is he a possibility for the 10 car, I would answer by saying it's not out of the question.”
Ganassi says right now he is faced with the questions as to whether he wants to sign someone who has proven to be talented, or take a chance on one of the young up-and-coming drivers.
“We'll confer with everyone,” Ganassi commented. “I mean, we've always taken the best driver that's available at the time. We sort of followed that rule that we learned from a great mentor of all of ours, a guy named Morris Nunn. When you had a driver position available, Morris always said, ‘You need to take the best driver available, and don't even think about anything else’.”
Ganassi says part of the battle in finding someone is whoever fills that seat will have big shoes to fill and need someone that can be a valuable teammate to Dixon, Kimball and Kanaan.
“It's not just a single-faceted job to get in that car,” Ganassi added. “That car is part of a team that I think for years has run at the front of the pack, and everything that goes along with running at the front in terms of scoring points for championships and helping teammates win championships.”
That’s why most likely they were probably be a seasoned veteran in that car rather than a young driver, however all options will be evaluated.
“Quite frankly, for the last couple days we've been thinking more about Dario, to tell you the truth, than we have filling the seat,” Ganassi expressed. “ Whether we fill the seat this week or next week I think is not going to make any difference. We have somebody that's on our team that's been dealt maybe some cards he doesn't want to play right now, but he's going to have to.
“Our thoughts are with him right now, making sure that we get him in the right seat, if you will. We're not so much worried about ourselves as we are others right now.”