Tony Kanaan says Indy 500 will be his final race before retiring from IndyCar


The last lap for Tony Kanaan in the NTT IndyCar Series finally will come May 28 as the veteran announced he will be retiring with the 107th Indy 500 after a quarter-century career.

The 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner announced Wednesday morning via social media that his final start will come at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

In a video that he posted, Kanaan walks the grounds of the Brickyard and says, “it’s been a wonderful journey, but it’s not done yet. I will still have the pleasure to drive through the bricks one more time. Thank you all, and I’ll see you on race day.”

He was announced last year as the driver of the fourth Dallara-Chevrolet entry for the Arrow McLaren IndyCar Team in the 2023 Indy 500. Last year, Kanaan finished third with Chip Ganassi Racing in his only IndyCar start of the 2022 season.

Kanaan will drive the No. 66 Dallara-Chevy in May for Arrow McLaren with primary sponsorship from Smart Stop Self Storage. The number is a nod to McLaren Racing’s history, commemorating the 1966 win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans by Bruce McLaren in the same year that the McLaren team entered its first Formula One race.

Fernando Alonso ran the No. 66 when he failed to qualify for the 2019 Indy 500. Mark Donohu won the 1972 Indy 500 with the No. 66.

During a Wednesday afternoon news conference at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Kanaan said he had no regrets, but “you’re never ready for this. As much as you don’t want to go, it’s there. You have to make smart, right decisions at the right time. I’d hate to be coming (to Indy) just to participate. Last year really was a good opportunity. I finished the race, and I was ready.”

Kanaan still said he expected to be “crying like a baby” during the prerace ceremonies for the Indy 500, which will be his 22nd start on the 2.5-mile oval.

“I’m going to miss it every day of my life,” Kanaan said. “I miss it now. But I think I’m fine. We’re kicking off the 100 days (until) Indy Friday and also kicking off the 100 days of crying Friday. I’m OK, I’m at peace with my decision and have a really good shot of winning this thing.”

The popular Brazilian ran four oval races with Ganassi (sharing the No. 48 Dallara-Honda with Jimmie Johnson) in a partial 2021 schedule that extended his career. Kanaan originally announced the 2020 season would be his “Last Lap” in IndyCar.

But the 2004 series champion’s plans for a celebratory lap to honor the fans were scuttled by the COVID-19 pandemic that limited crowds from attending races.

Kanaan since has joked often about his delayed retirement plans, noting at IndyCar’s preseason media event two weeks ago in Palm Springs, California, that six-time series champion Scott Dixon “makes fun of me until this day.

“This is the last, last, last, last lap, the very last lap,” Kanaan cracked to reporters Feb. 1 when asked if he was hoping to race at Indy again in 2024. “So the answer honestly will be I think I will definitely make a decision, which is not just all up to me.”

At that time, Kanaan said he planned to decide on his future “when we cross the start-finish line on that Sunday. When I win — if I win — I’ll put everybody on the spot and I’ll say, I’m coming back. This is exactly what happened last year.

“Right now I think the focus is this 500. It wasn’t a mistake, but we announced something two years ago and then a great opportunity came with Jimmie’s (ride). I’m not going to put out there, ‘This is what I’m doing.’ It’s just let it be.”

In nearly 400 starts across the CART Champ Car and IndyCar Series from 1998-2022, Kanaan has 17 victories and 79 podium finishes.

His first victory was July 25, 1999 at Michigan International Speedway with Gerry Forsythe’s No. 11 Reynard-Honda. His most recent win was in the Aug. 30, 2014 season finale at Auto Club Speedway in the No. 10 Dallara-Honda for Ganassi.

Kanaan has continued to race in other series, such as the Superstar Racing Experience and stock-car races in Brazil.

Eli Tomac wins Seattle Supercross, ties Cooper Webb in championship points


In the past two weeks, Eli Tomac lost his momentum and with it the Monster Energy Supercross red plate to Cooper Webb, but a gutsy performance in Seattle gave him a sixth win of the season as he and the series heads into an off week tied. Tomac is currently tied in the points with Webb.

With this win, Tomac also ties James Stewart for second on the all-time wins list at 50 with six rounds remaining in 2023.

“I needed that bounce back,” Tomac told NBC Sports’ Will Christien. “It was almost like I was in a little bit of a slump in the past couple of weeks; just a little bit off. I’m feeling much better now. That track raced really cool. There were a lot of different lines out there.

“It was obviously very dicey early on. I got passed and then had to make those passes back.”

Tomac suffered with a stiff neck in Indianapolis two weeks ago when he lost the red plate to Webb for the first time in 2023. In that race, he scored his worst finish of the season in eighth. He lost more points in Detroit after finishing a distant third behind Chase Sexton and Webb. This is the fifth time this season that Tomac and Webb finished 1-2 in a race. Tomac has won them all, but Webb has been more consistent.

RESULTS: How they finished for the 450 Main in Seattle

Webb was disappointed to lose the ground to Tomac, but he will enter the Glendale, Arizona race with a red plate and a share of the points’ lead.

“It was overall a great night to get up front and get a second was great,” Webb said after the race. “Those few spots where I would get close to Eli and then make a mistake.

“The track was gnarly. It was no joke. It was cat and mouse as to who could ride the cleanest race and pick the line. I got off to a decent start, but Chase and Eli were ahead of me and I had some catchup to play and got into a good position.”

Early in the race, Sexton was indeed ahead of Webb and the remainder of the field. Another costly mistake sent Sexton to the ground. He battled back to finish fifth but is now 22 points out of the lead and in jeopardy of dropping out of championship contention unless Tomac and Webb have problems.

Rounding out the podium was Justin Barcia, who scored the third-place finish on his birthday

“Awesome ride,” Barcia said. “It was a lot of fun. I’m sure we kept the fans on their feet tonight. The track was gnarly. […] We’re searching; we’re so close to having that speed. We want it so badly. We’ll keep pushing hard and going for that win.”

Sexton’s mistake kept the three top points’ earners of 2023 from sharing the podium for the sixth time in 11 rounds, but the trio finished 1-2-3 in Heat 2 with Webb first, Sexton second and Tomac third.

The 250 West contenders were back in action after giving the last four rounds over to the East riders and Jett Lawrence picked up where he left off in Oakland: In Victory Lane. Lawrence scored his fourth win in five 250 West rounds. Last week his brother Hunter Lawrence tied Jett with 10 wins, but everyone knew it would not take long for Jett to regain the advantage.

Between them, the Lawrence brothers have won all but one race each in their respective divisions.

Lawrence rode a patient race in the Main. He settled in behind Stylez Robertson and concentrated on navigating the ruts mistake-free. He could not afford to be patient any longer when Cameron McAdoo caught up to the leaders. Lawrence found a second gear and gapped the battle for second.

An incident in their main made the battle between Lawrence and McAdoo more dramatic. While racing for second, the pair of riders ran out of room in the rhythm section. Both crashed but had a large enough lead over fourth to maintain their positions.

“It was a very eventful day,” Lawrence told NBC Sports’s Daniel Blair, answering a question about the earlier contact. “[…] It’s good to be back racing. It’s been a while. I feel like I’ve had another offseason. Glad to get out in one piece tonight.”

Lawrence now has a 23-point advantage over the field with four rounds remaining.

Click here for full 250 Main Results

RJ Hampshire finished second in his race and is second in the points after a seesaw affair that produced the final pass for position just before the white flag was displayed.

“I felt like I had a pretty good pace going for a little bit,” Hampshire said. “I closed the gap and then had a couple of big mistakes that almost put me on my head. I backed it off a little bit.

“Cam actually gapped me a little more than I would have wanted. I knew I could get a push there at the end. I thought that was the last lap, which is why my pass was a little more aggressive than it should have been, but I’m stoked to be able to close the gap a little bit.”

McAdoo took the final spot on the podium. This is the fourth time in 2023 these three riders have shared the box and if not for a sixth-place finish in Anaheim 2, he would be mounting a much more formidable challenge for the points’ lead.

“The track was really demanding tonight,” McAdoo said. “It did change a lot and the key thing was to get off the rhythms every time. We were swapping back and forth.”

Enzo Lopes in fourth and Max Vohland rounded out the top five.

Robertson had the early lead but when he lost the top spot to Jett he cross rutted on the next lap, crashed hard and failed to finish.

2023 Race Recaps

Detroit: Chase Sexton inherits win after Aaron Plessinger falls
Indianapolis: Ken Roczen gets first win in more than a year
Daytona: Eli Tomac extends Daytona record with seventh win
Arlington: Cooper Webb wins for second time, closes to two of Tomac
Oakland: Tomac ties Ricky Carmichael with 48 wins
Tampa: Webb gets first 2023 win
Houston: Tomac bounces back from A2 crash to win third race of 2023
Anaheim 2: Triple Crown produces new winners Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen
San Diego: Tomac, Jett Lawrence double down
Anaheim 1: Tomac wins opener for the first time

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