Tony Kanaan will return with A.J. Foyt Racing for a five-race, all-oval program in 2020, which he has confirmed will be his last season as a full-time driver.
The popular 45-year-old Brazilian will suit up in Foyt’s No.14 Chevrolet for what has been dubbed his ‘TK Last Lap’ farewell season at the Indianapolis 500 on May 24, followed by Texas (June 6), Richmond (June 27), Iowa (July 18) and WWTR (August 22).
“I look back at all these years racing in IndyCar, and the first thing that comes to my mind is how fortunate I’ve been to be in the top level of the sport for this long,” Kanaan said.
“I walked into this sport as a 23-year-old with lots of hopes and dreams and I can say, without a doubt, that I accomplished everything I wanted. I’m 45 now; I have fans, wins, podiums, records, a championship and an Indy 500. I feel and know I can still do this for a long time, but like everything else in life, there is also a cycle in racing. For a long time, I’ve been asked when I would retire, and my answer was always the same: The day I wake up in the morning and feel like I can’t do this anymore, that’s when I’m going to retire.
“Unfortunately, there are other things one should take into consideration when planning the future, and probably the most important one is what are the options that are available. For 2020, my best option was to race the five ovals of the NTT IndyCar Series season, the sport that gave me so much and that I will always love. I’m not done with racing, that’s for sure. I decided that this year I would step back a bit and enjoy these five races, have time for my family and my fans, and also give back to the sponsors that always stood by me.”
While 2020 will be his last full-time or part-time IndyCar season, Kanaan has left the door open to further Indianapolis 500 appearances. Beyond that, he said he’s keeping his options open.
“For the future, who knows?” he said. “I’d love to still be involved with IndyCar to some degree. I’ve also had offers to race in a number of different series, but that’s not my priority at the moment.”
Kanaan heads into 2020 with 377 career starts – second only to Mario Andretti’s 407 – which includes 17 wins, 15 poles and 78 podiums, the most recent of which came when he finished third at WWTR last year. He holds the active record for the most consecutive starts, with an unbroken streak of 317 stretching back to Portland in 2001.