Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - Chip Ganassi Racing revealed on Friday its four-car driver lineup for the 2014 IndyCar Series season, with Ryan Briscoe joining the team and Tony Kanaan replacing Dario Franchitti in the No. 10 car.
Briscoe will drive the No. 8 NTT Data-sponsored entry for Ganassi. The 32- year-old Australian drove for the team during the 2005 IndyCar season after serving as a test driver for Panasonic Toyota Racing in Formula One the previous year. He competed in 14 races in '05 but had his season shortened following a fiery crash at Chicagoland Speedway.
In May, Briscoe drove the No. 8 for Ganassi in the Indianapolis 500, finishing 12th. It was his first start in the series since he left Team Penske at the end of the 2012 season. He spent five seasons with Penske, scoring seven wins. Briscoe competed in six other races for Panther Racing this year.
"This is just great news, and I can't wait to get back behind the wheel of the No. 8 car again," Briscoe said. "We built some great chemistry during the month of May this year with the whole crew."
Last week, Briscoe's wife, Nicole, gave birth to the couple's first child, Finley Evers.
"For me personally it's been an amazing last few days," he added. "This announcement coupled with the birth of our first child just a few days back, I couldn't be happier right now."
Kanaan, who won the Indy 500 for the first time this past season, was announced as Ganassi's new driver for next season on Oct. 4, two days before Franchitti's near-fatal crash during a race in Houston. Franchitti, a four- time IndyCar champion and three-time Indy 500 winner, announced his retirement last month. His doctors advised him to end his racing career due to the head and spinal injuries he sustained in the accident. Kanaan had been named the driver of the No. 8 before Franchitti said he was retiring.
"I'm extremely excited, but this is a very bittersweet day for me as many of you know," Kanaan said. "I'm driving for the Target Team and couldn't be more thrilled about the possibilities for next season. On the other hand, I'm taking over the seat my good friend, Dario, had to leave."
Briscoe and Kanaan will team with Scott Dixon, who won his third IndyCar championship this year, and Charlie Kimball, who won a race in the series for the first time in August at Mid-Ohio.
"This is the best of both worlds," team owner Chip Ganassi said. "We not only get the driver that we wanted to add to our team in Ryan Briscoe, but in addition, we are able to put them in the cars that I felt were the most appropriate. The news couldn't really be better for all of our teams."
Shortly after the Ganassi announcement, Franchitti posted on his Twitter account, "Very happy for @TonyKanaan and @Ryan_Briscoe, both great additions to the team. I'm really glad the 10 car is in good hands."