Sato joins Ganassi to race ovals only in IndyCar

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8:19 AM ET

INDIANAPOLIS A two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato will close out his racing career this year by returning to ovals exclusively in IndyCar in the event that the Japanese driver makes the switch to Chip Ganassi Racing.

Sato will be sharing the number. 11 Honda with rookie Marcus Armstrong, who was selected to run in the IndyCar track and street races by Ganassi. Five oval races are in the IndyCar schedule, and Tuesday’s announcement stated only the following: Sato would “pilot the No. 11 Honda in oval competition.”

Sato will almost certainly likely to be present at his next race, the Indianapolis 500, which he took home in 2017 as a driver with Michael Andretti and 2020 with Bobby Rahal. Sato is the sole Japanese winning driver of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

Sato placed third at Indy in 2019 , and then crashed on the last lap while racing Dario Franchitti to win the race in 2012. Franchitti took the win for Ganassi which is a company. Sato has joined for the first time in his career that spans nearly two decades. He has also competed in multiple teams, and even a debut in Formula One.

“Focusing on the oval races is a new chapter for me but I’m thrilled to have the ability to race with team members and teammates that have won the championships and Indianapolis 500 in the past, which is a tremendous advantage,” Sato said.

Ganassi was the winner of the last Indianapolis 500 with Marcus Ericsson and 2021 IndyCar championship with Alex Palou.

Sato has won six times during 13 seasons of IndyCar. The 215 starts he has made in his career rank the sixth most active driver with 22nd place all-time. Last season, he drove with Dale Coyne Racing.

Sato was a seven-season driver in F1 from 2002 to 2008 with 90 starts in his career. He scored 44 points and one podium.

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