Kyle Busch has revealed that he has tried to persuade IndyCar star Tony Kanaan to move to NASCAR and drive for his Truck Series team next year.
Busch (LEFT) is about to finish his debut season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, where he has won seven out of 14 races he has entered, driving his own No. 18 Toyota Tundra. Next week at Homestead he could clinch the owners' title, as his truck is leading those standings.
Kanaan is currently looking for a drive for next year following the announcement of his departure from Andretti Autosport, the team he won the IndyCar Series title with back in 2004. He is expected to test with De Ferran Dragon Motorsports at Sebring next week, but he still needs sponsorship to secure a drive for 2011.
Speaking at Phoenix International Raceway on Friday, Busch said he considers Kanaan a friend and expects to hear from him regarding an offer he made to the Brazilian to drive one of Kyle Busch Motorsports' trucks in 2011, which Busch suggested could lead to a progressive switch to stock car racing over the next two seasons.
"I've had a conversation with Tony about it on whether he's interested or not. He's yet to kind of come back to me with anything," said Busch. "I told him that with Toyota support and with the support of the Truck Series, I think it would be kind of fun to see him. We've seen it with Danica [Patrick] and Dario [Franchitti], some of those guys who have come over and given it a try.
"I feel like it's no different than a young driver. Tony Kanaan having all the experience he has with going 230mph or whatever it is in [IndyCar] can come to NASCAR, but yet start small. Start in the Truck Series, start with a good team where you can do some testing.
"[We could] test him a little bit, get his feet wet. Get him in some good equipment, go out there and run some races and get some experience maybe next year and maybe 2012 go on in a full year. That's kind of what I explained to him, so whether or not he wants to do that or venture down this pathway, I respect his decision to stay in [IndyCar], that's where he's made his bread and butter and that's where he's really good. If that's where he decides to stay, that's good for him."
Max Papis, formerly an Indy car racer and rival of Kanaan, is set to drive full time in the Truck Series next year, as he continues to pursue a career in NASCAR.