Tony Kanaan to drive for AJ Foyt in IndyCar next season

Tony Kanaan drives down the front stretch during practice, Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017, in Long Pond, Pa. (Matt Slocum/AP)

INDIANAPOLIS — AJ Foyt has hired an Indianapolis 500 winner to drive fulltime in IndyCar for the first time since he started his own team.

Tony Kanaan will drive Foyt’s flagship No. 14 Chevrolet next year, which will make him the first Indy 500 winner besides Foyt to drive a full season for the team. Foyt owned the team when he won his third and fourth Indianapolis 500s.

Kanaan is 42 and just celebrated his 20th season in IndyCar. He won the Indianapolis 500 in 2013 and the IndyCar title in 2004.

"We’ve talked to Tony for the last couple of years and I’m just glad we were able to put something together because I know he wants to win as bad as we do," Foyt said. "I think he still has two or three good years in him. He’s always been a hard charger and I like somebody who wants to charge hard."

ABC Supply Co. renewed its sponsorship of the program beyond 2018 as part of the Kanaan deal.

Foyt also hired technical director Eric Cowdin, who will be race engineer for Kanaan. Cowdin was with Kanaan for the Indy 500 victory, the IndyCar title and 15 of the Brazilian’s 17 victories.

"I just thought it was a great opportunity for me to build something where we can make history, and for me that’s what racing’s all about," said Kanaan. "Yes it is about the wins, but it’s also about the people, the people that you’re associated with. We’re going to make some history."

Foyt will also move the operation of the No. 14 to Indianapolis from Waller, Texas, where it has been housed since 1996. The No. 4 car will be based in the Texas race shop, but no driver has been named.

Kanaan plans to spend significant time in Indianapolis during the racing season.

"My biggest challenge will be getting to know everybody and really make everybody work for one goal, which is go win the race," he said.