Tony Kanaan, who is looking for work after parting ways with Andretti Autosport, is in the early stages of discussions with NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team owner Kyle Busch about a ride next season in a Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota Tundra.
“I’ve had a conversation with Tony about it, and whether he’s interested or not,” Busch said Friday at Phoenix International Raceway. “He’s yet to kind of come back to me with anything. I told him that with Toyota’s support and with the support of the Truck Series, I think it would be kind of fun to see him.”
“People say, ‘Is (NASCAR) what you have your mind set on?’” Kanaan told SPEED.com’s Marshall Pruett. “I’m unemployed! I tell everybody, like in your case, you’re a motorsports writer. If all of a sudden you are not writing for anybody, you might go to work for a newspaper writing something you maybe had never considered writing before. And that’s what’s going on.
“It’s great news about General Motors coming into (IndyCar racing) and I hope that makes it easier for me to return, but everybody I talk to right now in Indy says I need to bring at least $2 million to race. Right now, I’m pretty sure I don’t have that kind of money. … It’s not easy to find money these days.”
Kanaan stressed that any conversations between he and Busch were strictly preliminary at this point.
“We share the same sponsor, M848ff8if9a6fb627facGGcdbcce6M’s, and we’ve done a lot of functions together over the years and started a friendship,” Kanaan said of Busch. “Last week he called me and said, ‘Hey are you interested in driving a Truck? Are you interested in being a (Truck Series) driver?’ That’s how it started. Obviously, there is no more to it. People are starting big rumors, but we haven’t (really) talked yet. I’m going to go see him at the NASCAR round at Miami, and that’s when probably we’ll see what we need to do.”
Kanaan also said that his first choice would be to remain in the IZOD IndyCar Series.
“I want to race in IndyCar,” he said. “I’m an open-wheel guy. But I have to explore every option. Every day that goes by, it’s getting later and later. It’s not like I have three offers in IndyCar and one offer in Trucks and I’m debating which one to go with. Right now, it’s a matter of surviving. I’m a professional race car driver. I’ve driven cars with roofs before. If it has four wheels and an engine, I’m going to go do it. Am I considering Trucks? Oh yeah. If I do it, I think Kyle would still do some of the races, so it’s not like it would be a full-season deal. I don’t even know if I need to bring money. It was just a short phone call. Am I switching? I have to accept whatever is my reality right now.”
Tom Jensen is the Editor in Chief of SPEED.com, Senior NASCAR Editor at RACER and a contributing Editor for TruckSeries.com. You can follow him online at twitter.com/tomjensen100 and e-mail him at Jensen is the author of “Cheating: The Bad Things Good NASCAR Nextel Cup Racers Do In Pursuit of Speed,” and has appeared on numerous television and radio shows. Jensen is the past President of the National Motorsports Press Association and an NMPA Writer of the Year.