Franchitti to drive for NASCAR's Ganassi Racing in 2008

Oct 3, 2007 - 2:39 PM CONCORD, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Dario Franchitti is heading to NASCAR.

The 2007 Indianapolis 500 winner and IndyCar Series champion was announced as the driver of the No. 40 Dodge in the Sprint Cup Series, owned by Chip Ganassi and Felix Sabates, during a news conference Wednesday morning.

Franchitti will compete in his first stock car race Friday at Talladega Superspeedway in the ARCA Series. ARCA is a Midwest-based stock car series that uses cars similar to those in the Busch Series.

Andretti Green Racing allowed Franchitti to leave the IndyCar team before his contract was set to expire at the end of this year. The team had attempted to get Franchitti to compete in several sports car races for the team which would have prevented him from getting a head-start with Ganassi's NASCAR team.

AGR released as statement Tuesday night that said the team's agreement with Franchitti was set to expire at the end of this year.

With that formality out of the way, Franchitti was introduced as David Stremme's replacement Wednesday at Ganassi's NASCAR shop in Concord, North Carolina.

News of Franchitti's move to NASCAR broke on September 7 before the IndyCar Series finale at Chicagoland Speedway on September 9. Although Franchitti would not confirm his move at that time, sources close to the driver knew the deal was in place.

In fact, Target/Chip Ganassi Racing's IndyCar driver Scott Dixon, who lost the championship to Franchitti when he ran out of fuel just one turn from the checkered flag at Chicagoland, even told Franchitti, "Welcome to the team" at the IndyCar Awards Ceremony on September 11.


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