Tony Kanaan will drive the 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500 for Chip Ganassi Racing

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Credit: Chris Owens

IndyCar legend Tony Kanaan was originally scheduled to be contesting all the oval races in 2022 for Chip Ganassi Racing, sharing a car once again with 7-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson. However, those plans changed when Johnson announced that he would be running the full 2022 IndyCar season in CGR’s fourth car. This left a bit of a quandary as to how much Kanaan would be involved in the 2022 IndyCar season. In fact, there were initially some doubts over whether he’d even get involved at all, something which Kanaan himself was quick to address. Now Kanaan has confirmed that he will be a fifth entrant for CGR in the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500, running alongside the team’s four full-time competitors for the event.

Kanaan had said previously that the 2020 IndyCar season would be his last, but now he’s adamant that he doesn’t want to set a date over when he plans to call time on the series. “We called it ‘TK’s Last Lap’ three years ago, and I’m still making laps,” Kanaan said during a Zoom conference with the media. “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 continued. “I actually decided that that’s gone. We called it ‘TK’s Last Lap’ three years ago, and we’re still doing laps.

Kaanaan will be helping his teammate Jimmie Johnson make the transition to racing IndyCars on the ovals (Photo Credit: Chip Ganassi Racing)

Kanaan also stated that he’d be helping his “partner in crimeJimmie Johnson make the transition to racing on ovals in an IndyCar. “This year we have the opportunity to be teammates, and I’m really excited about that,” he 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,” expressed Kanaan. “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.

As for whether Kaanan will participate in any more IndyCar races this year beyond the Indianapolis 500, that remains to be seen. He’s already confirmed to be very busy elsewhere, running in the Stock Car Brazil championship in his native country as well as the full six race season of Tony Stewart‘s Superstar Racing Experience (which he also raced in last year) and three Porsche Cup Endurance races. It’s safe to say that, even though his participation in IndyCar will likely be very limited, Tony Kanaan is going to have one of the busiest seasons of his entire career in 2022!

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