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Kanaan: Barrichello's departure big loss for IndyCar
Barrichello and Kanaan
Rubens Barrichello has yet to confirm his departure from IndyCar. He will drive for the Medley-sponsored team in Brazil's stock car series next year because he couldn't find sponsorship to drive for one of the better IndyCar teams. His loss figures to be significant.

Why? Because his year spent in IndyCar was deemed internationally vital to the sport, particularly in Brazil, which hosts an IndyCar race in Barrichello's hometown (Sao Paulo) and is home to a major series sponsor (Apex Brazil).

"Last year was the best year (IndyCar) had in Brazil, and Rubens was a big part of that," countryman Tony Kanaan said. "The race there was sold out, we had the most viewers on the broadcasts and so forth.

"Obviously my sponsors don't care about Rubens specifically, but the series has grown in Brazil because of him."

Kanaan fears there will be a hit to IndyCar's status in Brazil when Barrichello finally confirms he's leaving.

"People are going to wonder why (he left)," Kanaan said.

Kanaan thinks Barrichello is irreplaceable because of his stature as a former Ferrari driver in Formula One. He raced 19 years in that series.

"They stole him in a way," Kanaan said of IndyCar. "He was the best Brazilian driver in the past 15 years and came to IndyCar from Formula One. That will never happen like that again." Indy Star

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