Kanaan: No plans to go anywhere -- other than back to victory lane
If he has anything to say about it, Tony Kanaan isn’t going anywhere else, any time soon.
Kanaan, who turns 42 on Dec. 31, is having a productive season in the Verizon IndyCar Series. He’s sixth in the standings – he’s been as high as fifth – and finished fourth in Sunday’s Honda Indy Toronto.
Sure, he’s struggled when it comes to podium finishes in 2016: he has just one in the first 11 races, a runner-up finish at Road America.
But overall, he’s had a decent season. While he hasn’t reached victory lane since the 2014 season, the Brazilian driver has four top-fives and six top-10s this season.
While those numbers could be better, Kanaan has every intention of making it to his 16th IndyCar campaign in 2017 – and he hopes to stay for a fourth season with Chip Ganassi Racing.
“I’m looking to be where I’m at,” Kanaan told NBCSN after Sunday’s race. “I’m looking to be in IndyCar. I’m not ready to go anywhere else.
“Hopefully, we’ll be able to get it done. You can count on it that I’ll do everything I can to stay here.”
Kanaan finished a close fourth – and barely missed out on his second podium showing – to third-place finisher James Hinchcliffe in Sunday’s race.
“I think we had something for Hinchcliffe,” Kanaan said. “For sure, I think they had to save fuel and I didn’t.
“It was a risky move for us but it worked out. Big props to Todd (Malloy, lead engineer), Barry (Wanser, strategist) and my NTT Data guys.
“We knew what we had to do. A great call from the guys in the pits. I had the red tires, which were a lot quicker. ... I pushed as hard as I could. The problem was, 3 laps in to come in, I destroyed (the tires) trying to get the lead. If it hadn’t been for that last yellow, I think we might have caught Hinch.”
Still, Kanaan thinks better times are on the horizon.
“We’re getting there,” he said. “We’re getting closer and closer every weekend.”