Team: Target Chip Ganassi Racing
Sponsors: Target, Chip Ganassi Racing, Troy Lee Designs
- 170 lbs
- Salvador, Brazil
- Miami, FL
Antoine Rizkallah Kanaan Filho, commonly known as Tony Kanaan (born December 31, 1974) is a Brazilian race car driver. Kanaan won the 2013 Indianapolis 500 and the 2004 Indy Racing League IndyCar Series championship. His Indycar Series championship came while driving Andretti Green Racing's 7-Eleven sponsored car, winning three times in his Honda-powered Dallara. That season he completed 3,305 laps, making him the first IndyCar Series driver to complete every possible lap in a season. He also led 889 laps in 13 separate races to establish an IndyCar Series record. Kanaan is also the only driver to lead the Indianapolis 500 in each of his first seven starts, and won his first Indy 500 in 2013 on his 12th attempt. He has a total of 15 IRL race victories. Kanaan was released from Andretti Autosport in October 2010 after 7-Eleven announced it would not return as his primary sponsor in 2011. After initially signing on with de Ferran Dragon Racing, the team shut down when sponsorship did not materialize. Kanaan currently drives the #10 for Target Chip Ganassi Racing.
Kanaan started his driving career in Italy and won the 1994 Formula Europa Boxer title for Cram Competition using a Tatuus. After a season in Italian F3 he migrated to the US and was the 1997 Indy Lights champion, driving for Tasman. In 1999 he scored his first major victory in the Champ Car World Series by winning the U.S. 500 at Michigan International Speedway for Forsythe Championship Racing. After the Forsythe team lost their McDonald's sponsorship package, Kanaan moved on to Mo Nunn's start-up team for the next three years before moving on to the IRL in 2003 as a driver for Andretti Green Racing.
Following his IRL championship season, in 2005 he placed second in the championship to his teammate Dan Wheldon, and he won his first pole position for the Indianapolis 500 to add to his finishes of second, third, fifth and eighth in the event. Until his 2013 win at the Indy 500, it was one of the few holes in his resume. In September 2005 he tested a Formula One car with the BAR-Honda Team at Jerez as a reward for his 2004 IRL championship in a Honda powered car.
Kanaan is good friend of Brazilian Formula One driver Rubens Barrichello, and they exchanged helmets for the events on May 28, 2006. Barrichello wore Kanaan's helmet livery during the Monaco GP and Kanaan wore Rubens's one during the Indy 500. The two of them created a charity offering financial and technical aid to institutions within the voluntary sector, the Barrichello Kanaan Institute.
Another of Kanaan's long-time good friends and a former teammate from his Tasman days is Helio Castroneves. Kanaan and Castroneves have developed an intense rivalry that has resulted in some hard feelings. Castroneves accused Kanaan of costing him the 2006 IndyCar Series championship by racing him too hard for position in the final race. Kanaan countered that he was not paid to let other people pass him for position. The two started to patch up their differences at Indianapolis in 2007.
Kanaan had a fine 2007 season, winning a series-high five events by taking first place in Japan at Honda's Twin Ring Motegi track, the Milwaukee Mile, Michigan International Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, and the Detroit Grand Prix in Belle Isle. He also took the pole position at Kansas, although a pit-incident with team-mate Danica Patrick dropped him from a possible win. Later he took a second pole position at Kentucky. At the 2007 Indianapolis 500 he dominated the field and led at a rain delay just past the halfway point. A questionable call to pit right before the rain-shortened race ended gave the race to his teammate, Dario Franchitti, who did not appear to have Kanaan's speed. It was the latest in a string of disappointments at Indianapolis, and Kanaan was then often referred to—along with his team owner Michael Andretti – as one of the best drivers never to win the Indianapolis 500. Kanaan recorded his first win of 2008 in the SunTrust Indy Challenge at Richmond International Raceway. In the 2009 race he hit the wall and failed to finish.
In October 2010, Kanaan was released from his contract with Andretti Autosport, a few weeks after convenience store giant 7-Eleven announced it would not return as Kanaan's primary sponsor in 2011. Kanaan won 14 races and 1 championship in 8 years with Andretti Autosport.
In March 2011, Kanaan announced a deal with KV Racing Technology. He will drive the No. 82 car sponsored by GEICO. In August 2011, it was announced that Kanaan signed on for another year with KV Racing Technology according to team owner Jimmy Vasser.
On May 26, 2013 Kanaan won the 97th Indianapolis 500, his 1st Indy victory, he claimed, "I was known for not winning and now I am known for winning. The last lap was the longest lap of my life. I get to put my ugly face on that trophy." It was his first IndyCar victory since leaving Andretti Autosport and the first IndyCar Series victory for KV. Kanaan tied Sam Hanks in being the most experienced driver Indy 500 driver to win his first Indy 500, both doing so in their twelfth start. At Sonoma, Kanaan tied with Jimmy Vasser for the all-time IndyCar record for most consecutive starts with 211, dating back to Portland in 2001.
Kanaan will not return to KV Racing Technology in 2014, and on September 27, 2013, the Associated Press reported that Kanaan will join Chip Ganassi Racing.