Indy 500 Champ to Join NASCAR Next Year

Second open-wheel racer in two years added to Ganassi team
By Doug Sweeney,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2007 4:18 PM CDT
IndyCar Series champion and the Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 winner Dario Franchitti, of Scotland, celebrates with his wife, actress Ashley Judd, left, at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., on Sunday,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Dario Franchitti, the 2007 Indianapolis 500 winner, confirmed today that he will make the transition from IndyCar to NASCAR for the 2008 season. The reigning IndyCar Series champion will join former Formula One and Indy driver Juan Pablo Montoya on Chip Ganassi’s three-car team. Ganassi is “thrilled” to have a “world-class driver” like Franchitti on board, reports Speed TV.

Franchitti will compete in ARCA, Busch Series and Nextel Cup races this year to be approved by NASCAR for the full 2008 Sprint Cup schedule. He makes his stock car debut this Saturday. Franchitti will drive Ganassi’s No. 40 Dodge when he joins the Sprint Cup next year. He is best known off the track for marrying actress Ashley Judd.