Tony Kanaan, the 2004 IZOD IndyCar Series Champion, will contest his 15th United States based open-wheel season, 11th in the IZOD IndyCar Series (ran one race, the Indy 500 in 2002) and second with KV Racing Technology during the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season. Kanaan will pilot the No. 11 GEICO – KV Racing Technology with SH Chevrolet/Firestone and the No. 11 MOUSER – KV Racing Technology with SH Chevrolet/Firestone entries.
One of the most consistent and fearless drivers in the IZOD IndyCar Series, Kanaan is a perennial title threat. In 2011, the 37-year-old Brazilian finished fifth in the IZOD IndyCar Series championship on the strength of nine top-10 finishes with seven top-five showings including three podiums and one pole position (Las Vegas, drew the pole for Texas race No. 2). Kanaan, who holds the IndyCar Series record for consecutive starts at 148, has finished in the top-six in championship every year he has run the full IndyCar season, a total of nine consecutive years. The fifth place showing in 2011 is also the highest in KVRT team history.
Kanaanwas essentially raised in the home of his boyhood friend, formerFormula One driver Rubens Barrichello, whose family took 11-year-old Tony in when his father died. Kanaan began his racing career in go-karts in his native Brazil. Unable to afford his own kart, he worked as a kart builder and earning time in a kart instead of a paycheck. During those early years, Kanaan won the Sao Paulo City Junior Karting Championship three times (1986-88), the Brazilian Junior Karting Championship (1988), the Sao Paulo City B Category Karting Championship (1989) and the Sao Paulo City Graduated A Category Karting Championship (1990).
Kanaan made the jump to car racing in 1991 competing intheBrazilian Formula Ford Championship, finishing sixth. He finished fifth in the Brazilian Formula Chevrolet Championship in 1992 and drove a limited schedule in Formula Opel Euroseries Championship finishing 10th in points in 1993.
Kanaan traveled to Europe in 1994 where he won the Italian Formula Alfa-Boxer Championship, scoring five wins. Remaining in Italy in 1995, he competed in the Italian Formula 3 Championship placing fifth on the strength of one victory and nine podium finishes. Moving to the United States in 1996, Kanaan competed in Indy Lights for Tasman Motorsports Group placing second in the championship in his first season scoring two victories and five top-three finishes. He won the Dayton Indy Lights championship for Tasman in 1997 scored two victories and seven top-three finishes.
Tasman Motorsports Group made the jump to the CART Series in 1998 with Kanaan remaining with the team. He finished ninth in the championship race with a best finish of third at Laguna Seca and Houston and was named the CART Jim Trueman“Rookie of the Year” for his efforts. In 1999, Kanaan moved to Forsythe Championship Racing and finished 11th in the standings earning his first major career victory with a win at Michigan and capturing his first pole position, Long Beach. When Forsythe ceased operation prior to 2000, Kanaan signed with Mo Nunn Racing. He finished 19th in the points missing four events after sustaining a fractured left forearm in a qualifying accident in Detroit with a best finish of eighth at Nazareth, Road America and Australia. Kanaan returned to the top-10 in the standings in 2001 driving for Mo Nunn Racing placing ninth in points with one podium, a third at Japan. In his third season with Mo Nunn Racing, Kanaanfinished 12th in 2002 CART point standings with a best showing of third at Vancouver and Montreal. Kanaan also made his first foray into the IndyCar Series in 2002 competing in the Indianapolis 500. Starting fifth, he led 23 laps before an accident on Lap 89 ended his race. He finished 28th.
Driving for Andretti Green Racing in his first full IndyCar Series season, Kanaan finished fourth in 2003 championship race on the strength of a series high tying 12 top-10 finishes and nine top-five performances. He also earned his first career IndyCar Series win (Phoenix), captured three pole positions (Homestead, Phoenix and Pikes Peak) and led 12 of 16 races, second only to series champion Scott Dixon.
In 2004, Kanaan had a career year. He won the IndyCar Series championship for Andretti Green Racing 16 top-10 finishes including 15 top-five showings and three wins. He opened the season with a eighth place finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway then went on a streak recording 15 consecutive top-five finishes, including the three wins (Phoenix, Texas 1 and Nashville) and six second-place performances. Kanaan earned poles at Michigan and Pikes Peak and became the first IndyCar Series driver to completed everyone possible lap (3,305)of every race in a season, leading 889 laps to establish a new IZOD IndyCar Series record.
Kanaan finished second in the season standings for Andretti Green Racing in 2005 recording14 top-10 finishes including 12 top-five showings with two victories (Kansas and Infineon). He also captured the pole for Indianapolis 500 finishing eighth. In 2006, Kanaan, placedsixth in the championship race for Andretti Green Racing recording nine top-10 finishes with seven top-five finishes and a win, at Milwaukee. Kanaan was back in the top-three in the championship in 2007 placing third for Andretti Green Racing scoring 13 top-10 finishes including 12 in the top-five and a series-high five wins (Motegi, Milwaukee, Michigan, Kentucky and Belle Isle). He led a race-high 83 laps at Indianapolis in 2007 becoming first driver to lead laps in his first six “500” starts (is the only driver in history to lead laps in his first seven Indy 500 starts). In 2008, Kanaanfinished third in the championship for the second consecutive season recording 15 top-10 finishes, 11 top-five showings and one win (Richmond) marking the sixth consecutive season in which he scored a least one victory (2003-2008).Kanaan finished sixth in the points in 2009 in a disappointing season by his standards. Hampered by five DNF’s he still managed 10 top-10 finishes with five top-five showings, but did not win a race for the first time since 2003. In 2010, his final year with Andretti Autosport, Kanaan finished sixth in the championship race for the second consecutive season earning 13 top-10 finishes including seven top-five showings with one win, at Iowa Speedway.
Kanaan is a workout buff and a triathlete. He competed in the Clearwater Half-Ironman in November of 2010 and again in 2011 in memory of his late friend Dan Wheldon. Kanaan was also invited to and competed in the Ford Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii in October 2011. Kanaan speaks four languages, English, Portuguese, Italian and Spanish and lists AyrtonSenna and Alex Zanardi as his racing idols.
Tony Kanaan | Driver
#11 KV RACING TECHNOLOGY-SH CHEVROLET/FIRESTONE
• NAME: Antoine Rizkallah Kanaan Filho (Tony Kanaan)
• WEIGHT: 147 lbs
• BIRTHPLACE: Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
• BIRTHDATE: December 31, 1974
• AGE: 36
• RESIDENCE: Miami, FL
• MARITAL STATUS: Married
• FAMILY: Leonardo Kanaan, age 3
• HOBBIES: Triathalon, Cycling, Jet Skiing, Running
• TEAM: KV Racing Technology
• CAR: #11 GEICO | MOUSER ELECTRONICS – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone
#11 MOUSER ELECTRONICS | GEICO – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone
• TOTAL SEASONS:15 (1998 – 2012: CART – five (1998 – 2002); IndyCar – 11 (2002 one race – 2012)
• INDYCAR SEASONS: 11 (2002 – 2012, ran one IndyCar race in 2002)
• FIRST CAREER SEASON: 1998 (CART) (First career start: Miami Grand Prix at Homestead 3/15/98)
• FIRST INDYCAR SERIES SEASON: 2002(First IndyCar start: 5/26/02Indianapolis)
• TOTAL STARTS: 242 (IndyCar – 149, CART – 93)
• TOTAL WINS: 15
• TOTAL POLES: 15 (Last pole: Las Vegas – 2011; Drew pole in Texas race No. 2 – 2011 not counted)
• TOTAL PODIUMS: 58
• TOTAL TOP-FIVE: 101
• TOTAL TOP-10: 160
• TOTAL LAPS LED:3206
• INDYCAR STARTS: 149
• INDYCAR WINS: 14
• INDYCAR POLES: 11 (Last pole: Las Vegas – 2011; Drew pole in Texas race No. 2 – 2011 not counted)
• INDYCAR PODIUMS: 52
• INDYCAR TOP-FIVE: 85
• INDYCAR TOP-10: 111
• INDYCAR LAPS LED: 2,788
• 1997: Dayton Indy Lights Champion
• 1998: Received Jim Trueman CART “Rookie of the Year” Award
• 1998: Won Granja Viana 500 kart race in São Paulo, Brazil
• 2000: Won Granja Viana 500 kart race in São Paulo, Brazil
• 2001: Won Granja Viana 500 kart race in São Paulo, Brazil
• 2002: Won Granja Viana 500 kart race in São Paulo, Brazil
• 2004: IZOD IndyCar Series Champion, completed every lap (3,305) of every race during season
• 2004: Received the Jerry Titus Memorial Trophy for being the AARWBA Driver of the Year; also a
member of the 2004 AARWBA All-American Team.
• 2004: Won the Capacete de Ouro (Golden Helmet) Award presented by Racing Magazine in Brazil
• 2004: Received the Casci di Oro (Golden Helmet) Award given by Italy’s Autosprint
• 2004: Won Granja Viana 500 kart race in São Paulo, Brazil
• 2005:Finished second in the IZOD IndyCar Series championship
• 2005: Captured pole for 89th running of the Indianapolis 500
• 2005: Won Granja Viana 500 kart race in São Paulo, Brazil
• 2005: Won the Capacete de Ouro (Golden Helmet) Award presented by Racing Magazine in Brazil
• 2007: Finished third in the IZOD IndyCar Series championship
• 2007: Captured an IZOD IndyCar Series-high five wins in one season
• 2007: In first career ALMS start teamed with Bryan Herta and Dario Franchitti to win the LMP2 class of the 12 Hours of Sebring
• 2007: Won the Capacete de Ouro (Golden Helmet) Award presented by Racing Magazine in Brazil
• 2007: Won Granja Viana 500 kart race in São Paulo, Brazil
• 2008: Finished third in the IZOD IndyCar Series championship
• 2011: Finished fifth in the IZOD IndyCar Series championship (has finished in the top-six in championship every year he has run the full IndyCar season – nine consecutive years)
• 2011: Established IZOD IndyCar Series record for most consecutive starts at 148
• 2013: Won the 97th Indianapolis 500
Year-by-year highlights, statistics and race-by-race results.
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