Tony Kanaan waits to take a practice lap this week in Indianapolis. The Brazilian driver has had a topsy-turvy few months and is happy to be in the Indianapolis 500.
ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge
MIAMI — Tony Kanaan sees no reason to be spiteful.
He’s in the Indianapolis 500, and for Kanaan, that’s more than enough after a topsy-turvy few months that saw him twice on the equivalent of auto racing’s unemployment line. And just because the team that parted ways with him after 2010 — Andretti Autosport — struggled mightily in qualifying for the biggest race on the open-wheel calendar, Kanaan sees that as no reason for additional celebration.
Andretti tried to get five cars into the 500 during qualifying. Only three made it, while Kanaan grabbed the 23rd spot on the starting grid for KV Racing Technology-Lotus.
“People think I was happy about that,” Kanaan said. “That’s not me. You don’t ever wish anybody bad. I have so many friends, so many good people that I’m friends with on that team. It was sad to see.”
A different outlook would probably be understandable.
His time with Andretti ended when 7-Eleven dropped the primary sponsorship of his car. It’s a simple rule in racing: No sponsor, no ride. Even a hugely popular driver such as Kanaan isn’t exempt from that reality. So he had to find work elsewhere — first with Dragon Racing, in a deal that ended before it started over a lack of corporate backing, and then KV Racing, getting that pact done just days before this IndyCar season opened.
Some might call it mildly curious that 7-Eleven now has a presence again in the Andretti garage, but Kanaan insists he has no hard feelings.
Kanaan, the 2004 IndyCar champion, is popular both with fans and fellow drivers, and having him in the field after the uncertainty of the last few months seems to be well-received all around.
Busch cited for careless driving
STATESVILLE, N.C. — NASCAR driver Kyle Busch was clocked by a North Carolina sheriff’s deputy going 128 mph in a 45 mph zone and was cited for careless and reckless driving and speeding, a law enforcement spokesman said Tuesday.
In a statement, Busch acknowledged what happened.
“I was test-driving a new sports car and I got carried away,” Busch said. “I went beyond the speed I should have been going on a public road. I apologize to the public, my fans, sponsors, and race teams for my lack of judgment.”
Busch, who drives for Joe Gibbs Racing, accepted responsibility and said it would never happen again.