Tony Kanaan will drive in Indy 500 for Ganassi with no other 2022 IndyCar races scheduled

Tony Kanaan IndyCar schedule
Elsa/SRX via Getty Images
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Tony Kanaan will race the 106th Indy 500, which is his only race on his NTT IndyCar Series schedule this season but not necessarily his last in the series.

Kanaan will be running in a fifth car with Chip Ganassi Racing. The 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner drove the No. 48 Dallara-Honda on ovals last season while Johnson focused on road and street course races. Ganassi initially announced Kanaan also would race on the ovals in 2022, but those plans changed last month when Johnson decided to race full time this season in IndyCar.

Kanaan, who turned 47 a few weeks ago, once announced the 2020 IndyCar season would be his “Last Lap.” But he said Monday during a Zoom news conference that he is making no pronouncements about his IndyCar career, which started as a CART rookie in 1998.

“We called it ‘TK’s Last Lap’ three years ago, and I’m still making laps,” Kanaan said. “Do I still think I can do it 100 percent? My question will be what if I win No. 2? Would I be coming back or not? So I’m not announcing anything. My intentions are for this not to be the last one. Next year will be my 25th year in IndyCar, and it would be pretty cool to do that.”

“I jumped the gun three years ago when I said that was going to be my last,” Kanaan said. “I actually decided that that’s gone. We called it ‘TK’s Last Lap’ three years ago, and we’re still doing laps.

“It’s hard to tell. Obviously, we knew it was a two-year deal. Do I have any things lined up for next year? No. Do I still want to do it? 100 percent. Do I think I can do it? 100 percent. Look at what happened to Helio (Castroneves, who has returned full time this year). My question would be what if we go and win No. 2; are we coming back or not? I’m actually not announcing anything because I don’t know. My intentions are for this not to be the last one. Next year will be my 25th year in IndyCar, and I think it would be pretty cool if I could do that. We’ll see, but for now, ’22 is just Tony’s another Indy 500.”

In addition to the Indy 500, the 2004 IndyCar champion will be running 10 stock car races in his native Brazil, the six-race season in Tony Stewart’s Superstar Racing Experience (which he also raced last year) and three Porsche Cup Endurance races.

“More races than I’ve done in the past 21 years,” Kanaan said. “So quite busy

He also will be helping Johnson, whom he calls his “partner in crime” in making the transition to ovals.

“This year we have the opportunity to be teammates, and I’m really excited about that,” Kanaan said. “The guy is a master in the ovals. He won seven NASCAR championships. A lot of people were asking that question when he announced (a road and street course schedule) that it didn’t make any sense I was subbing for him on the ovals.

“It’s great for the Indy 500 and great for Jimmie. When he threw his rookie hat at the end of the year away, I said, ‘Not too soon, my friend, you’re still going to be a rookie when you get to the 500,’ which it’s pretty cool. In the team, he has plenty of support between myself, (Scott) Dixon and Dario (Franchitti). I think he will be OK.”

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 3 p.m. to USA Network.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III