Tony Kanaan will be back at Indianapolis this weekend for the first time since his popular and triumphant first victory at the 2013 Indianapolis 500.
Except this time, he’ll be turning right and left, and driving a tin-top, tubed-frame Daytona Prototype for the first time in his career.
“I’ve never driven one of these cars. I’m going to have to learn a lot in the first day,” Kanaan said Tuesday in a conference call. “I will do anything I can do to help the team. If we’re in a position to do that, for sure we’ll take it.”
He’s got a good chance as he’ll be co-driving with one of North America’s top sports car drivers, Joey Hand, in Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates’ second car for the GRAND-AM Rolex Series’ Brickyard Grand Prix. He’ll have Thursday to get acquainted with the No. 02 NTT Data Riley BMW.
Kanaan will rely on Hand and the primary car of Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas for Zen-like guidance on how to handle the car and the track.
“I think I’m going to lean a lot on Scott and Joey to teach me,” he said. “A couple days ago I got an email from Tim (Keene), our team manager at Ganassi, four pages that I had to learn, all the switches and stuff. Of course, I think we have a little bit of time on Thursday for me to learn that. Even to learn the racetrack. It’s funny to say that I don’t know the track. The track I know runs the opposite way and only turns left.”
And if he wins, he’d have a rare two-fer of wins at the same track in the same year.
“It took me 12 years to win the 500. To win two races in Indianapolis, I don’t know what to think yet. But it’s early. I know we have a competitive car. I’m just glad to be part of it.”