“Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends, we’re so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside!” Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Karn Evil 9.
The lyrics of EL&P’s song came to mind with the long-awaited confirmation of Tony Kanaan’s return to the Chip Ganassi Racing team for May’s Indianapolis 500. The 2013 race winner, who’s stepped aside at the other ovals for friend and teammate Jimmie Johnson to contest a full season in the No. 48 Honda, says he’ll stop claiming he’s doing his never-ending Last Lap tour and will simply embrace his ongoing desire to keep racing in IndyCar.
“I jumped the gun three years ago when I said that was going to be my last,” Kanaan said. “I actually decided that that’s gone. We called it ‘TK’s Last Lap’ three years ago, and we’re still doing laps. Do I have any things lined up for next year? No. Do I still want to do it? 100 percent. Do I think I can do it? 100 percent.”
The 47-year-old loves what he saw last year as former teammate Helio Castroneves won another Indy 500 at 46, and believes he’s just as capable as his countryman when it comes to winning again at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“Look at what happened to Helio,” the Brazilian said. “My question would be what if we go and win No. 2; are we coming back or not? I’m actually not announcing anything because I don’t know. I can tell you my intentions are not to be the last one. Next year will be my 25th year in IndyCar, and I think it would be pretty cool if I could do that. We’ll see, but for now ’22 is just Tony’s ‘another Indy 500’.
RACER can confirm Kanaan’s Indy 500 car number will be announced at a later date in partnership with sponsor American Legion. The race engineer for the effort will also be confirmed on a similar timeline.