Strange rumors have entered the NASCAR silly season fold today when it was announced by RACER Magazine that Joe Gibbs Racing, arguably the best team in NASCAR, has offered 2013 Indianapolis 500 Champion Tony Kanaan a ride in one of Gibbs’ NASCAR Nationwide Series cars for next year, likely as a teammate to Elliott Sadler.
For Kanaan, it has to be a legitimate option. Despite winning the biggest race of the season at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, his KV Racing team is only good enough for 11th in points, and the veteran Brazilian is not guaranteed for next year.
Despite being admired as the mayor of the IndyCar paddock, Kanaan would be foolish to turn down this offer and leave to end his career with NASCAR. Nothing at this point looks to be coming together in IndyCar. Where fellow open-wheel driver Dario Franchitti faltered spectacularly in NASCAR, Kanaan and Gibbs likely have the pieces in place to succeed.
Everything of course is currently in the rumor stage, but Joe Gibbs Racing is prime for expansion and ready to compete with Hendrick Motorsports as the best team in NASCAR. With Elliott Sadler likely to fill that role if sponsorship becomes available, that would leave Kanaan as a Nationwide Series contender as soon as 2015 with the possibility to end his career in a development role.
Diverse in both oval and road racing, Kanaan’s even demeanor, smooth driving style and ability to maintain equipment coupled with Joe Gibbs Racing’s technology and resources are a perfect change for one of the most respected men in motorsports.
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