Ganassi expects to see Kimball’s performance improve with the addition of Kanaan to the team.
“Two heads are better than one; three are better than two and four heads are better than three,” Ganassi said. “It’s good to have veteran drivers that Charlie Kimball can lean on to help his development. Charlie was able to get a win this year and step way up in the points. We have one organization and that will help our team.”
Ganassi’s move to Chevrolet caught nearly everyone by surprise including Chevy’s current power team and longtime Ganassi rival Team Penske.
“I didn’t see it coming, to be honest,” said Team Penske President Tim Cindric. “That may prompt a few reactions on the other front. It might be a catalyst for some other things to happen. I think it will be interesting to see what cards fall after that. Certainly it’s good for Chevrolet.”
Ganassi’s departure leaves an opening for a current Chevrolet team to join Honda with early speculation focusing on Andretti or even KV Racing.
But don’t put Team Penske in that category.
“We are a Chevrolet team, absolutely,” Cindric said. “We’re not in that mix. You’d have to ask Honda if they even knew that was going to happen. In this sport, it’s always interesting when you hear surprises, because there are so few surprises anymore.”
And now Penske’s biggest nemesis will be using the same engines and chassis, which could up the ante in this rivalry to a new level.
“Anytime your competition is running the same equipment that you are, I think everybody focuses on the differences in your human capital – the drivers,” Cindric said. “It helps you focus. You know that they have the same tools as you have, so it helps you focus on what you can do and what’s in your control to be better. It will make both teams better, in my opinion. In a lot of ways you welcome that, because you have to have the confidence in your people to help differentiate when the equipment is the same.”
On this day, it was a big day for Jim Campbell, U.S. Vice President for Performance, Vehicles and Motorsport.
“We have a tremendous amount of respect for Chip, Mike Hull and the entire team and the way they have organized themselves: and the way they conduct themselves: and the way they have garnered results,” Campbell said. “Over time nine championships in IndyCar, also four Indy 500’s to date. This is really a proud moment. A lot of respect for Chip, we have a chance to work together on the stock car side of our business. It’s going to be great to have Chip Ganassi, Mike Hull and the entire organization with Chevrolet power for 2014 – it’s a special day.”