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DALLAS -- Andretti Autosport confirmed this week that international convenience store chain 7-Eleven is withdrawing its primary sponsorship of the team's No. 11 IZOD IndyCar Series entry, driven by Tony Kanaan, beyond 2010. The convenience store chain will continue as an associate sponsor on the team's No. 7 driven by Danica Patrick next year, according to a report o Racer.com.
"We are confirming today that 7-Eleven will not be returning as the primary sponsor of the 11 car next season," the team's senior vice president and chief marketing officer, John Lopes, said in a statement cited by the Web site. "We are thankful for their many years of support and are proud of all we accomplished together."
Kanaan has three years remaining on his contract with the team, reportedly worth $3 million per season, and Lopes said Kanaan has been granted permission to consider other opportunities.
"Our hope is to have Tony Kanaan and the 11 car as part of our IZOD IndyCar Series lineup again in 2011 and we are currently working very hard to find the necessary sponsorship to make that a reality," Lopes added. "In the meantime and although he remains under contract with Andretti Autosport, we have given Tony and his management the permission to talk with other IndyCar team owners to explore what other alternatives might be available at this time."