As the latest event in the post-Indianapolis 500 victory tour, Tony Kanaan and KV Racing Technology team co-owners Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser all received their “Baby Borgs” from BorgWarner on Wednesday night in Detroit. The “Baby Borg” is a small-size scale of the iconic, legendary Borg-Warner Trophy that all winning drivers and team owners receive.
But what “TK” didn’t know there was a special surprise coming: a “Mini Baby Borg,” the first of its kind in a one-off creation for Tony’s 6-year-old son Leonardo. That was the emotional, heartwarming, best part of the night as now the father-and-son team had matching father-and-son “Baby Borgs.”
“Oh it was big time … of course, I was prepared to give my own Baby Borg away to my son,” Tony Kanaan explained in a phone interview last night. “But BorgWarner came with this big surprise, and now my son has two trophies. He’s extremely excited. It was an emotional moment for me regardless, and then when they brought that up, it was difficult to hold my emotions.”
Kanaan said he was almost “relieved” he’d be able to keep his own Baby Borg, but delighted nonetheless.
Since winning his elusive first Indianapolis 500 last May, Kanaan embarked on the post-victory media tour, had his face engraved on the actual BorgWarner Trophy, and now has his Baby Borg. Of all the post-winning activities, this immediately moved to the top of the list.
“Nothing’s gonna top what happened tonight. Obviously it’s my son – we dedicated the win to him,” he said. “Tonight will top it big time. It’s the first time BorgWarner has done something like this – which is trouble going forward, but it’s not my problem now!”
Kanaan had a friendly joke too at his good friend, and driver he’ll be replacing in the No. 10 Target Chevrolet for Target Chip Ganassi Racing this year, Dario Franchitti.
“It’s awesome … I can’t thank those guys enough for what they’ve done. It shows how supportive they are, and them being the official trophy since ’47?… ’36 here we go. So as long as Dario’s been alive, he was born in ’35. It’s good to be as enthusiastic as we are for what we do. The whole story makes it extremely special.”