Symmetry for Kanaan — 300th start in 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 …

Posted: May 22, 2015 in Uncategorized

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On May 24 at the 99th Indianapolis 500, Tony Kanaan will make his 300th career Indy car start, the eighth driver in history to do so. Kanaan talks about the milestone and a look back at the early days.

Q: Pretty nice symmetry to have No. 300 at the Indianapolis 500. Guessing there’s nowhere else you’d rather have it.

A — “Not too shabby for an old guy. Indy’s a special place, I’m extremely happy that I can celebrate the 300th start of my career here. I can’t wait.”

Q — Your first career start was the 1998 Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami. What do you remember about that?

A — “It was at Homestead, I lived in Miami so everybody was there. All my friends and family. There was a lot of pressure and I ended up crashing in the race, trying to pass Al Unser Jr. on the outside. He taught me a pretty good lesson. I was running in the top 10 at the time. I had a stiff neck for a couple days after that.”

05-22-Kanaan-1998-McDonalds-InsertQ — You finished in 29th and Helio Castroneves, also making his debut, crashed out in 24th.

A — “We both had a rough start.”

Q — We dug deep into the photo vault for a couple shots. Remember this one from 1999?

“That was a fun year. I still had hair. I was really young, having the time of my life. I was a single race car driver sponsored by McDonald’s – I thought I was the coolest kid on Earth.”

Q — And this one from the 2002 Indianapolis 500.

A — “This is my first ‘500,’ it was completely unexpected. I got invited because I was doing Champ Car at the time, and Mo (Nunn) had a team in IndyCar and Champ Car, and he said ‘we’re going to field a second car’ and they called me. I led that race and ended up spinning on oil, which wasn’t my fault, while on the lead. It was awesome.”

Q — You’re gesturing about something.

A — “Probably talking about some drafting, or passing somebody for sure.”

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