Tony Kanaan Indy woes

To say that Tony Kanaan has had a rough month in the Indy Racing League would be an understatement. The No. 11 driver for Andretti Green Racing has endured both broken ribs and fire over the last few races, taking a significant drop in standings points along with his plunge from the frontline, but there’s still hope for the native Brazilian to regain his footing, especially with the upcoming SunTrust Indy Challenge, of which he is the reigning champion.
Kanaan currently sits in seventh place overall in the league behind Ryan Briscoe, Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti, Helio Castroneves, Danica Patrick and Dan Wheldon, respectively, but will he continue to make a move up the standings points totem pole? Judging from his season so far in 2009, anything could be possible.
Tony Kanaan started the IndyCar season off right in April, snagging a fifth-place finish at St. Petersburg (my buddy over at movers Roswell Ga went to this race) and two consecutive third-place finishes at Long Beach and Kansas, setting him up in first place in standings points going into Indianapolis.
It was here that the troubles for this mild-tempered open-wheel racecar driver started up, however, as the Indianapolis 500 was a bust for Kanaan, who got passed on the inside by Marco Andretti on Lap 97, forcing him to stay at the top of the track and ultimately ending in him making contact with Sarah Fisher on the fallback, slamming into the wall at more than 180 mph.
Kanaan’s disappointing early exit from the Indy 500 was then pushed to the backseat in the aftermath, as the Andretti Green driver suffered injuries to his ribs, left ankle and femur. Not one to be held down, however, Kanaan was back in his racing gear soon after being released from the hospital, vying for a comeback the next weekend at the Milwaukee Mile.
His luck at Milwaukee would run short, as well, and Kanaan ultimately made a quick departure from the race after a fuel line problem sparked a fire to his No. 11 car, pushing him into 19th place in the contest and down quite a few positions on the standings chart.
Despite these last couple misfortunes on the racetrack, Tony Kanaan remains active, currently sitting in seventh place in standings points. “I’m not the type of guy you’re going to hear complaining,” he said. “We win together, and we lose together.
Now it’s the time to get into a catch-up mode, and that’s all we have to do.” Focusing on the future, the healing Kanaan also said, “It’s obviously disappointing, but you’ve got to be prepared for it. I understand how racing works. We’ve been known for consistency. We have put ourselves behind right now because of that.
While Iowa is the next name on the IRL’s to-do list, Kanaan is also focusing on the upcoming Sun Trust Indy Challenge, which will take place on June 27 at the Richmond International Raceway. As the returning champion of the 2008 Sun Trust Indy Challenge, Kanaan hopes to make a repeat of last year’s performance and turn his recent losing streak around. Sun Trust Indy Challenge tickets are still available online, so come cheer on the incredible Tony Kanaan as he attempts to be the comeback king in this year’s IndyCar season!

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