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That still leaves one seat open, and it appears it’s Barrichello’s if he wants the ride.

In addition to helping the team with the new IndyCar, Barrichello could push Kanaan both on and off the track. The two are so close they refer to each other as brothers, and Barrichello is godfather to Kanaan’s son, while Kanaan is godfather to one of Barrichello’s boys.

Kanaan, the 2004 series champion, has just two victories in the last four seasons and went winless in 2009 and 2011.

“If I say today I can help Tony, that maybe would sound like I have a contract and I do not,” Barrichello said. “But it’s no secret I am part of his family, socially, personally, professionally. I know what he likes to go fast. I know it would be rewarding to be teammates, and we could be pushing each other together.”

There are several scenarios in which Barrichello could compete in IndyCar this season, but it’s not clear how he’d address the four scheduled races on ovals. It’s no secret he long ago promised his wife he would not race on American ovals. Wheldon was killed on an oval.

Although Barrichello said the ovals “are not a concern” earlier this week, it’s possible KV Racing could use another driver during those races. There’s also speculation that Barrichello would do the Indianapolis 500, and not the ovals at California, Iowa and Texas.

It’s all up for discussion.

“I’m a lover of speed and a lover of motorsport,” he said. “I still have a lot of speed in me. I enjoyed this car, and I am pleased I adapted to it so quickly. But we will see.”