Tony Kanaan says Indy 500 will be his final race before retiring from IndyCar Supercross: Jason Anderson on probation for Tampa rough riding incident
Tony Kanaan’s final lap in the NTT IndyCar Series finally comes on May 28, when the veteran announced he was stepping down from 107th in the Indy 500 after a quarter-century career.
2013 Indianapolis 500 winner Announced Wednesday morning via social media that his last start will be at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
In the video he posted, Kanaan walks around the Brick Factory grounds and says, “It’s been a wonderful journey, but it’s not over yet. I will still have the pleasure of driving through the bricks again. Thank you all, see you on race day.”
🇺🇸It’s been a great journey, but it’s not over yet. I hope you guys for the last one in May.
🇺🇸 Let’s do this one last time. See you in May.@Arrow McLaren @IndyCar pic.twitter.com/lC1iY4GhT0
— Tony Canaan (@TonyCanaan) February 15, 2023
Last year, he was announced as a fourth team Dallara-Chevrolet driver for the Arrow McLaren IndyCar team in the 2023 Indy 500. Kanaan finished third last year with Chip Ganassi Racing in his only IndyCar start for the 2022 season.
In May, Kanaan will drive the No. 66 Dallara-Chevy for Arrow McLaren under the main sponsorship of Smart Stop Self Storage. This number is a tribute to the history of McLaren Racing, commemorating Bruce McLaren’s victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966, the same year that the McLaren team entered its first Formula One race.
Fernando Alonso finished 66th when he failed to qualify for the 2019 Indy 500. Mark Donohue won the 1972 Indy 500 with No. 66.
During an afternoon press conference Wednesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Kanaan said he has no regrets, but “you’re never ready for this. As much as you’d like to go, it’s there. You have to make smart, right decisions at the right time. I wouldn’t want to come (to Indy) just to participate. There was a really good opportunity last year. I finished the race and was ready.”
Kanaan still said he expected to be “crying like a baby” during the pre-Indy 500 ceremonies, which would be his 22nd start on the 2.5-mile oval.
“I will miss him every day of my life,” Kanaan said. “I miss it now. But I think I’m fine. We start 100 days (before) Indy Friday and also start 100 days of crying on Friday. I’m fine, I agree with my decision and I have a good chance of winning this case.”
The popular Brazilian competed in four oval races with Ganassi (sharing 48th in the Dallar-Honda with Jimmie Johnson) in a partial schedule for 2021 that extended his career. Initially, Kanaan announced that the 2020 season would be his “last lap” in IndyCar.
But the 2004 series champion’s plans to hold a celebratory lap in honor of fans were thwarted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which limited crowd attendance.
Since then, Kanaan has often joked about his delayed retirement plans, noting at an IndyCar pre-season media event two weeks ago in Palm Springs, California that six-time series champion Scott Dixon “makes fun of me to this day.”
👀 @Arrow McLaren @IndyCar #punishment_photo @NBCSports pic.twitter.com/8Bcz4N9jqS
— Tony Canaan (@TonyCanaan) February 1, 2023
“This is the last, last, last, last lap, very last lap,” Kanaan told reporters on Feb. 1, when asked if he hoped to race Indy again in 2024. will definitely make a decision that depends not only on me.
At the time, Kanaan said he planned to make a decision about his future “when we cross the start-finish line that Sunday. When I win – if I win – I will put everyone in their place and say that I’m coming back. This is exactly what happened last year.
“Right now I think the focus is on this 500. It wasn’t a mistake, but we announced something two years ago and then there was a great opportunity with Jimmy (the ride). I’m not going to say, “That’s what I do.” Just let it be.”
In nearly 400 starts in the CART Champ Car and IndyCar Series from 1998 to 2022, Kanaan has 17 wins and 79 podium finishes.
His first win came on July 25, 1999 at the Michigan International Speedway with Jerry Forsythe #11 Reynard-Honda. His most recent win was in the season finale on August 30, 2014 at Auto Club Speedway in 10th place Dallara-Honda behind Ganassi.
Kanaan went on to compete in other series such as the Superstar Racing Experience and stock car racing in Brazil.
It’s sad to see Tony Kanaan being challenged, but like Kevin Harvick, you can’t ask for a longer career.
IndyCar has changed a lot since Tony debuted in 1998. Of his 17 career victories, only 3 come from tracks where IndyCar is still racing (Indy, Texas, Iowa). https://t.co/q18BUQJO60
— Nascarman (@nascarman_rr) February 15, 2023
Following an incident with Justin Barcia at the Tampa Monster Energy Supercross, Jason Anderson was sentenced to six months probation by the American Motorcycle Association. The penalty will last until Round 9 of the Pro Motocross season.
The penalty was awarded after Anderson pushed Barcia into the Tuff Blox on a pass attempt, causing both drivers to crash on lap 6. Anderson finished sixth while Barcia recovered to finish eighth.
A week earlier, Anderson acknowledged his role in the ongoing rivalry with other riders.
“I’m just going to try to come forward and mind my own business,” Anderson said. at the post-race press conference (at the 8:30 mark of the video above) after his third place in the Houston Supercross race. “It’s my credit for being involved in a lot of the shitty stuff I got into. This is what I have to take responsibility for. I really just want to do my best, try to grow up and avoid it. I will try my best and change this aspect of myself.”
Anderson and Barcia have a history of contact.
Last year, Barcia was put on probation for rough driving due to an incident in the second round in San Diego when he sent Justin Bogle to the ground. In the next incident, Barcia earned a three-point penalty. for Anderson’s crash at the Indianapolis Supercross raceand he got 10 points for smashing Malcolm Stewart in the season finale in Salt Lake City.
Barcia finished fifth in 2022; Anderson was second, nine points behind Supercross champion Eli Tomac (although it’s worth noting that Tomac had a big enough lead for the title despite Anderson’s victory in the final in Salt Lake City).
The conflict continued this year when Anderson sent Barcia to the ground during a hot race in San Diego.
In Tampa, Anderson won the first race. In the preliminary competition, they did not compete against each other, with Barcia finishing fourth in the second heat.
With Tomac in contention for fifth place in the Tampa Main Event, a strong finish would have allowed Anderson to pull back the lead along with winner Cooper Webb and runner-up Chase Sexton. Instead, Anderson lost ground and is now 20 points behind Tomac as he enters the sixth of 17 rounds in the 2023 Monster Energy Supercross season.