2022 could be Kanaan's last at Indy 500

Phillip Abbott/Motorsport Images

2022 could be Kanaan's last at Indy 500


2022 could be Kanaan's last at Indy 500


Tony Kanaan doesn’t know if he’ll ever turn another lap at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but if Sunday’s Indy 500 does prove to be his swan song, the 2013 race winner says he bowed out leaving nothing on the table.

“I’m proud,” he said after finishing third with Chip Ganassi Racing. “This place never stops amazing me. It’s a great feeling. I left it all out there.”

Kanaan had kept his powder dry until the late stages of the race and was fighting among the lead pack when the red flag came out in the closing laps but wasn’t able to find an answer for Marcus Ericsson and Pato O’Ward in the two-lap dash to the finish. As he made his way back to the pits, though, he admitted he was viewing the race through a much wider lens.

“I was very emotional on the cool-down lap, talking to the team,” he said. “I know my days are numbered. I have a plan – I think next year will be probably really be the last one, if I can make it happen. As of right now, this was the last one.”

Kanaan last raced IndyCars full-time in 2019, but has remained sharp with a steady diet of Brazilian stock cars alongside appearances in series like SRX. If another shot at Indy does come along, he says he’ll be ready.

“It’s so lame that people think we’re old at 47; we can’t drive anymore,” he said. “It’s crap. I’m ready to do it again.

“I still race quite a bit. I’m doing 23 races this year; more than I did when I was in IndyCar. I don’t feel like I’m retiring. I mean, I know I can still drive. Of course, we have this thing that people like to talk about, age and age and age, but I think I’m in pretty good shape. I’ll keep doing it as long as the opportunity presents.

“Obviously to come back here — especially in the last two years with the team that I’m at — if it’s not there, I’m going to evaluate my chances. I don’t want to just be here to participate. I’ve done that plenty of times, so if I have one more shot – and that is for real; one more shot – we’ll give it a go.”

Kanaan’s third place was his fifth top-three result from 21 starts at the Brickyard and his best finish since his win nine years ago.