The Norman Transcript

Sports

July 26, 2013

Brazil’s Tony Kanaan chasing history

INDIANAPOLIS — Tony Kanaan is still getting accustomed to hearing his new title: Indianapolis 500 champion.

After dealing with so much bad luck and so many years of frustration at Indianapolis, who could blame the Brazilian driver for mistaking those words now being applied to his name?

“There’s nothing like winning at Indy, just ask Tony,” five-time Grand-Am champion Scott Pruett said during a conference call Tuesday.

“What?” Kanaan said.

“I said there’s nothing like winning at Indy, right Tony?” Pruett repeated.

“No. I mean, look at where I’m at. Look at the job I got by winning Indy,” Kanaan said.

What the elusive Indy victory did for Kanaan’s profile cannot be measured by money or trophies alone.

It put him on center stage, giving him a chance to tell his story to the American public and show late-night television audiences the passion and humor that turned a foreign driver into one of Indianapolis’ fan favorites. It gave him an opportunity to honor a promise he made to his 6-year-old son, Leo, by handing him the Borg-Warner Trophy. And it helped him get back to his favorite venue sooner than anyone expected, so he could chase a historic second win at Indy in a car nobody dreamed he would drive.

On Thursday, for the first time, Kanaan hopped into a Grand-Am car and teamed up with Joey Hand to qualify 10th in Chip Ganassi’s No. 02 car. It’s Kanaan’s first trip back since winning the 500.

“I got so lucky, my kid is on vacation with me this month from Brazil. This deal came up a week ago. Coincidentally he gets to be here,” Kanaan said. “He wasn’t here at the 500. He’s all excited. He’s never been to Indianapolis. It’s a great fit.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • OU V UNT Sooners blank Mean Green thanks to one-hit shutout from Stevens

    Kelsey Stevens’ impact at Oklahoma continues to grow....

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sooners rolling in almost every program

    It doesn’t seem so long ago, yet it’s been almost a decade since I wrote a snarky, though not inaccurate column questioning the head-coach-hiring skills of Sooner athletics director Joe Castiglione....

    April 24, 2014

  • Grizzlies Thunder Basketball Grizzlies will let Russ shoot

    During the hey day of L.A. Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, a new term was added to the lexicon. Anyone who seemingly was able to slow down the prolific scorer was automatically dubbed the Kobe Stopper. Players such as Ruben Patterson, Raja ...

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tigers, T-Wolves set for showdown

    For many teams in Norman, the Crosstown Clash is the biggest date on their schedule. It’s the game that can make or break the season. The one that determines bragging rights, and the one that the players are most concerned about....

    April 24, 2014

  • Emmert seeks big changes to NCAA

    INDIANAPOLIS — Mark Emmert wants the NCAA to fast-track upgrades for college athletes — regardless of whether a player union is pushing for them....

    April 24, 2014

  • North playing for big picture, NHS fighting for a better place at the table

    While the focus for the next two days will be on the Crosstown Clash, there's also an important postseason race taking place for Norman High and Norman North's baseball teams....

    April 24, 2014

  • Mets edge Cards

    NEW YORK — With a 360-foot relay in the ninth inning, the New York Mets prevented a hard-fought victory from vanishing in the wind....

    April 24, 2014

  • Seahawks will open against Packers

    NEW YORK — As Super Bowl champions, the Seattle Seahawks get to kick off the NFL’s regular season by hosting the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 4....

    April 24, 2014

  • Heat hold off ’Cats

    MIAMI — LeBron James drove to the rim as time was winding down, got clobbered by Josh McRoberts and sat on the hardwood gathering himself for a few seconds afterward. It was fitting. Miami took Charlotte’s best shot, and survived....

    April 24, 2014

  • Mavs even series with Spurs

    SAN ANTONIO — Monta Ellis scored 21 points and the Dallas Mavericks rolled to a 113-92 victory over San Antonio on Wednesday night, snapping a 10-game skid against the Spurs and evening their first-round series at a game apiece....

    April 24, 2014

Facebook