After 22 years of racing, Indy car driver Tony Kanaan will run one final season before hanging up his fire suit and helmet.

The Brazilian born driver is one of the most popular drivers on the racing circuit. Like Dale Earnhardt who came very close to winning the Daytona 500 before finally winning the race on his 20th try; Kanaan came close to winning the Indianapolis 500 many times before finally crossing the finish line in front of the field in 2013.

Kanaan was hoping to finish his racing career out with a full season, but financial difficulties have pared his final run down to only five races…including the Indianapolis 500. Along with the Indy 500, Kanaan will be running at Texas, Richmond, Iowa, and Gateway.

Like many fellow racers, Kanaan is enthusiastic about his health and staying in shape; including participating in numerous Triathlon and Ironman competitions. And at 45 he is ready to run a full season.

Kanaan currently holds the record for the most consecutive Indy Car race starts with 317; Scott Dixon is in second with 258 consecutive race starts.

When he won the championship in 2004, Kanaan became the first driver to not only have no DNF’s, he ran every lap of every race.

Like many racers, Kanaan doesn’t see this as a full retirement, but as stepping back; adding that he will more than likely try for a seat in the Indianapolis 500 in the coming years and he will be looking at other forms of racing.

Speaking on his decision Kanaan said, “this sport gave me everything I had. I met my wife in this sport. If you asked me that 15 years ago, maybe I’d say I got the short end of the stick. But after 23 years, I can’t say that. I got everything I wanted. I won the 500, I won a series championship, what else can you ask for?”

 

feature photo credit: By Zach Catanzareti Photo – tony kanaan, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=79701203

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