Kanaan earns more than $2.3 million for Indy win

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Tony Kanaan took in more than $2 million and a friendly amount of jokes and shaving cream during Monday night’s Indianapolis 500 banquet.

Kanaan’s winnings in the total of more than $12 million came out to $2,353,355. His victory speech, linked here to Indianapolis NBC affiliate WTHR, was a mix of humor, reflection on his elusive first win and appreciation for all who’ve supported him in this quest.

Carlos Munoz was officially named Chase Rookie-of-the-Year after his stellar month in a fifth Andretti Autosport entry. Munoz started and finished second in his IndyCar debut. He pocketed $964,205, including a $25,000 bonus from Chase.

Each of the top five finishers – Kanaan, Munoz, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Justin Wilson – took in more than $300,000 in total winnings. Ed Carpenter, the Verizon P1 award winner, took in a total of $405,955.

There were other drivers who took star turns during a quite comical banquet. Will Power, the Verizon Team Penske driver, took shots at Target, while Target Chip Ganassi’s Scott Dixon traded sarcastic jibes back at the Australian. James Hinchcliffe and Conor Daly each had speeches related to “mom’s basements,” with Hinchcliffe one of two drivers to joke that “he found God” during the race.

“He resides on the exit of Turn 2 at Indy. Who knew?” said the colorful Canadian. AJ Allmendinger, meanwhile, said Roger Penske to him was “God” and that it felt like walking with God en route to driver introductions from Gasoline Alley.

Katherine Legge made a joke about having a glass of wine in advance, and Ana Beatriz took the opportunity to note Simona de Silvestro “copied” her red dress, and dismiss the joke marriage proposal she got from a Brazilian comedian before the race. Beatriz was the race’s biggest mover, from 29th to 15th.

The official box score with all winnings is listed here.

NHRA: Brittany Force cleared to race this weekend in Phoenix after bad wreck 2 weeks ago

Photo: John Force Racing
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Drag racing is a Force family tradition. So, too, is not keeping a Force family member down.

Just 12 days after the most serious wreck of her six-year drag racing career, Brittany Force and John Force Racing announced late Thursday afternoon that the defending 2017 NHRA Top Fuel champion has been medically cleared and will indeed race in this weekend’s NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix, Arizona.

“I flew into Phoenix early this (Thursday) morning and headed straight out to the race track to meet up with my team,” Force said. “I suited up and got belted back into my car that I ran all last season.

“It honestly felt good to be strapped back in and I was surprised how comfortable I was. I’m looking forward to getting back in my car tomorrow (Friday’s first two rounds of qualifying) and getting back in the swing of things with my guys.”

The 31-year-old Force, one of four daughters of 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force, suffered a concussion and bruising after the hard crash she was involved in on February 11 in the first round of eliminations of the season-opening NHRA Lucas Oil Winternationals in Pomona, California.

Shortly after leaving the starting line in a race vs. Terry Haddock, Force’s dragster crossed from the right to left lanes, impacted the retaining wall with a very hard lateral crash, bounced off, spun, went on its side and briefly caught fire after crossing the finish line wheels-up.

While she is still recovering from the bruising, Force feels strong enough to get back behind the wheel. Getting back in the race car could be the best medicine of all, since she has three runner-up finishes in Phoenix, including back-to-back second-place showings in both the 2016 and 2017 national events.

The three-day event kicks off Friday with qualifying rounds at 4 and 6:30 p.m. ET, the same times as Saturday’s qualifying. Final eliminations begin at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.