Reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Tony Kanaan will join Chip Ganassi Racing next season, when the team will drop Honda engines in favor of Chevrolet motors, team owner Ganassi said.

Brazilian driver Kanaan, the 2004 IndyCar champion, signed a multi-year deal to join four-time series champion Dario Franchitti of Scotland, New Zealand's Scott Dixon and American Charlie Kimball.

"I couldn't be happier," Kanaan said. "They are the gold standard that all IndyCar teams measure themselves against. I can't wait for next year to get here. This is a very big day for me."

Ganassi has partnered with Chevrolet in the US stock car series since 2009. Chevy returned to IndyCar last year.

"This decision makes a lot of sense for use for a number of reasons -- Chevrolet has done a great job in their return to the IndyCar Series and because of our existing relationship in NASCAR," Ganassi said.

Kanaan, 38, drove for Andretti Racing from 2003-2010 and spent the past three seasons with KV Racing. He has 16 IndyCar race wins in 211 starts ahead of two races at Houston this weekend as Dixon, second overall in the season championship fight, tries to close a 49-point gap on Kanaan's friend and compatriot, Helio Castroneves.

Meanwhile, IndyCar officials have postponed qualifying for this weekend's doubleheader races until Saturday morning because of a problem with the track.

The qualifying for Saturday's street course race was postponed after a bump in turn one was discovered. Race promoters planned to bring in equipment to grind down the bump Friday night.

 

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