Tony Kanaan will be back with Chip Ganassi Racing for the 106th Indianapolis 500. (IndyCar Photo)
Tony Kanaan will be back with Chip Ganassi Racing for the 106th Indianapolis 500. (IndyCar Photo)

Kanaan Back With Ganassi For Final Indy 500

INDIANAPOLIS – Tony Kanaan will get his third chance for his final Indianapolis 500, as the 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner will return to Chip Ganassi Racing in 2022.
 
The third attempt at “TK’s Final 500” was announced Monday morning during IndyCar’s Content Days at the JW Marriott Hotel in Indianapolis.
 
Two-years ago, Kanaan announced the 104th Indianapolis 500 would be his final race on the big stage, and it was a chance to say farewell to all of his fans. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic shut down much of the world and that year’s Indianapolis 500 was held without spectators.
 
Kanaan got a reprieve when team owner Chip Ganassi needed a driver to share the No. 48 Honda when seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, who originally agreed to a street and road course schedule in the NTT IndyCar Series.
 
Kanaan drove the No. 48 Honda in the four oval races last year, including the 105th Indianapolis 500. Kanaan was impressive at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as he was among the fastest drivers every day in practice and made the Fast Nine Shootout that determined the first three rows of the 33-car starting lineup.
 
Kanaan’s qualifying speed was the fifth fastest and he started last year’s race in the middle of row two. He went on to finish 10th in the race in a car sponsored by The American Legion.
 
Kanaan finished 11th in the first race of a doubleheader at Texas Motor Speedway and 15th in race two on the 1.5-mile high-banked oval. He closed out the oval season with a 13th-place finish at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Ill.
 
After showing steady improvement in a completely new form of racing, Johnson has decided to run the full NTT IndyCar Series schedule this year, including the 106th Indianapolis 500. Ganassi had promised Kanaan that he would still compete in the Indianapolis 500 and on Monday morning, that became official.
 
Kanaan will drive a Honda sponsored by The American Legion. Car livery and other details will be announced later.
 
That gives team owner Chip Ganassi five entries in this year’s Indianapolis 500.
 
It will be Kanaan’s 21st Indianapolis 500, where he is one of the most popular drivers in recent Indianapolis 500 history because of his fierce and tenacious racing style.
 
In 20 previous starts, Kanaan has led a combined 346 laps in the race. After so many great races and close calls to winning the 500, Kanaan finally won it in his 12th attempt in 2013 for KV Racing Technology. He led 34 laps and jumped from fourth to the lead entering turn one during the final restart to claim his only Indianapolis 500 victory.

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