When Tony Kanaan announced an oval-only IndyCar schedule in 2020, it was with the full intention of bringing down the curtain on a career which yielded the 2004 IndyCar title and victory in the 2013 Indianapolis 500.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic which meant the Brazilian’s farewell tour would be staged largely without fans in attendance, Kanaan hinted several times that this year’s Indy 500 would not, after all, be his final appearance in the race in which he endured several near-misses prior to his 2013 breakthrough.

Whether or not his driving career is indeed over, Kanaan was happy to share his 10 most significant races with Autosport.

Chip Ganassi’s mighty sportscar team had entered a new era the year before when it switched from BMW normally aspirated power to the smaller capacity twin-turbo Ford Ecoboost engines. Both of CGR’s Riley Fords had retired at the Daytona 24 Hours, but when the combination scored its breakthrough win at the Sebring 12 Hours, it was the sister car to Kanaan’s that found its way to Victory Lane.

However, in 2015 Ganassi again asked his IndyCar aces Scott Dixon and Kanaan to drive one of his cars at Daytona for the round-the-clock classic, accompanied by the team’s NASCAR stars of the time, Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray. This quartet prevailed after a lengthy battle with Action Express Racing and Spirit of Daytona Racing.

TK: Where I keep my trophies, that Daytona one sits on the shelf along with my Baby Borg from the Indy 500, and my IndyCar championship trophy. That’s how much a Daytona win means to me.

Mine and Chip’s relationship had begun back in 2008, and not in a good way – we were in serious talks about me joining the team for 2009, but then I decided to stay with Andretti Autosport and Chip was spun out about it. But over the next couple of years things got better between us and he invited me to share one of his sportscars with Joey Hand in the Brickyard Grand Prix [on the Indy road course] in 2013.

Then when Dario [Franchitti] got hurt near the end of that year, finally we had the opportunity to work together in IndyCar in 2014, but honestly it was a difficult and unlucky year in sportscars and IndyCar until I won the last IndyCar race of that year. Then this, winning the first sportscar race of 2015, really solidified our relationship.

Chip gave me one of the best opportunities I ever had in IndyCar, but also opportunities in sportscars. I got to race for him at Daytona and Sebring in prototypes, and then when he switched to Ford GTs, I raced for him twice at Le Mans and once at Spa. I mean, that’s some bucket list items there.

You look at the people who have won Daytona 24 Hours – that’s like American sportscar racing’s Indy 500, isn’t it? That’s the race they all want to win. It was a dream team, a really badass line-up, because that’s what Chip always tries to put together.

He had been the guy about 10 years earlier who really restarted that whole thing of getting top drivers from other race series to help out with the endurance races. He was bringing in Dan [Wheldon], Scott, Dario, Juan Pablo Montoya, and it worked so well that every other team had to follow. As usual, Chip had raised the bar.

By 2015 there were a lot of great drivers on a Daytona grid – all the usual top sportscar guys plus a bunch of IndyCar and NASCAR drivers, a really tough field, so winning that meant so much to me.

9. 2014 IndyCar at Fontana

Tony Kanaan’s top 10 races

Car: Chip Ganassi Racing, Dallara-Chevrolet
Finished: 1st

When Franchitti suffered career-ending injuries in a huge shunt in the Houston street race in 2013, Ganassi drafted in Alex Tagliani for the season finale at Fontana, but the Canadian veteran wasn’t truly perceived as a long-term solution for who should race the #10 car alongside Dixon. Instead, Kanaan was called up for the 2014 season.

It wasn’t a totally smooth transition, as it was also Ganassi’s first year with Chevrolet engines and it took even Dixon until late in the year to nail a couple of wins. Nevertheless, Kanaan racked up several podium finishes and at Fontana came out with all guns blazing.

He led the second-most laps – 64 to Montoya’s 85 – including the final 53 laps and headed Dixon to a Ganassi 1-2 at an average speed of 196mph. The three podium finishers were rewarded with bottles not of champagne, but of Fuzzy’s Vodka…

TK: Oh man, you remember that?! That was crazy. Why didn’t they just put water in the vodka bottles? I mean, it looks the same.

If you’ve been racing for two-and-a-half hours and dehydrating and not eating, it’s not a good idea to step out of the car and start drinking neat vodka! Man, I have never got so drunk so quick before, and by the time I made it to the media center to speak with you guys, I did not know what I was saying, honestly. I mean, I’m a guy who doesn’t even drink a glass of wine.

Anyway, the race itself was fun and our cars were strong. It was fast!

Tony Kanaan’s top 10 races

All year, I’d felt big pressure because we were in the Target car, the #10 that Dario had won three championships with, so I was being compared with him and I was being compared with Dixon as my teammate.

It’s the usual thing – you’re with a great team and you are expected to perform, no excuses. At Iowa we had been leading and with just a few laps to go there was a yellow. A couple of guys behind took the gamble of pitting for new tires and they beat us.

We had some near misses over the next few years and as it turned out, that would be my only win for Chip in IndyCar but I’m pleased it was proper, not a lucky one. We led [second] most laps and beat everyone in a straight fight. And like they say, you’re only as good as your last race, so when you win the final race of the year, you’ve got five months to brag about it before the next one!

8. 2007 Sebring 12 Hours

Car: Andretti Green Racing, Acura ARX-01a
Finished: 2nd (1st in LMP2)

The Team Penske-run Porsche Spyders were the dominant LMP2 cars in the American Le Mans Series in 2007, but the only race that Porsche failed to win that year was the one it most coveted – the 12 Hours of Sebring. Instead, the Acura ARX-01a, one of Nick Wirth’s most beautiful designs, won for Andretti Green Racing in the hands of Kanaan, Franchitti and Bryan Herta. Although six laps behind the overall race-winning LMP1 Audi of Marco Werner, Emanuele Pirro and Frank Biela, the AGR Acura was two laps ahead of its nearest LMP2 competitor, a Fernandez Racing Lola with the same Acura engine, and seven laps ahead of the better of the two Penske Porsches.

TK: Another special one for more than just me, because it was the first win for a new car. From my perspective, I loved that car and I loved that race – again we’re talking about iconic endurance races that everyone wants to put on their resume. Sebring, Le Mans and Daytona – they’re the classics that all the manufacturers want to win and all the drivers want to win.
And then it was also a chance to work with two of my best friends from racing, Dario and Bryan, people who I respect and admire as drivers but also really like as people. The chemistry between us, the car itself, the fact that we felt we could go pretty much flat out and the car could take it – even over that track! – it just meant it was a satisfying event. Plus, I was always a bit more relaxed because sportscar racing wasn’t mine or Dario’s fulltime job so we’re not having to think about a championship or points or anything. It’s just about going for the win, so that’s a good feeling too.
But that’s a tough, tough track and you have to put all your effort in, and I think to get a LMP2 car finishing second overall… that shows how hard we drove that day.

7. 2007 Detroit Grand Prix
Car: Andretti Green Racing, Dallara-Honda
Finished: 1st

To some, this may seem a curious choice. It was surely just another Andretti Green Racing victory in a year that had seen Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves and Sam Hornish Jr. fade from championship contention due to inconsistency, leaving AGR’s Franchitti and Kanaan tackling Dixon of Ganassi. This Belle Isle triumph was Kanaan’s fifth win in a season which would see Franchitti and Dixon score four each, and it was TK’s last IndyCar win on a non-oval. But this triumph meant much more than that.

TK: It’s about the track. Remember, in Indy Lights I won at Detroit in both 1996 and ’97, I felt strong there. But then my first couple of CART IndyCar races were OK, but nothing special [eighth and sixth in ’98 and ’99 respectively] because we didn’t have the car to get it done. Then in 2000, with Mo Nunn Racing, I had the worst shunt of my career at Detroit, broke my arm in practice and it was so bad I was out for four races. We came back the next year and thought, ‘Okay, now we’re going to show them – and I crashed bad again in qualifying and didn’t race! I thought, ‘This track has been so good to me and now… what the hell?!’ Then in 2002, we stopped going there and I switched to IRL which was all oval at that time.
When IRL at last started to use road and street courses and we went back to Detroit in 2007, I went there feeling like I had this unfinished business. I needed to prove it was still one of ‘my’ circuits. It’s like Bryan Herta and Laguna Seca – any time you put him in a car, any team, he was going to deliver there. I felt that way about my competitiveness at Detroit, but it took until 2007 for me to truly prove it.

6. 2004 IndyCar at Fontana
Car: Andretti Green Racing, Dallara-Honda
Finished: 2nd

Kanaan had finished every lap of the 2004 season, scored three wins and a further six podium finishes heading to the penultimate round of the 2004 season at Fontana. AGR team-mate Dan Wheldon still had a glimmer of hope, but Kanaan – who had only once finished outside the top five – saw off the Briton’s challenge by charging from the back row of the grid to finish second behind Adrian Fernandez and clinch the championship with one round to go. In the final race at Texas, Kanaan would finish second again, ensuring his record of completing every race lap of 2004 remained intact. It’s an achievement that still hasn’t been matched since.

TK: It was a strange season because just a year after joining Andretti Green, I effectively became team leader and this was just my second year in Indy Racing League. Dario had got himself hurt in 2003, missed almost the whole season and so in 2004 he was still learning what IRL pack racing was all about. He was good of course – he’s Dario! – but he’d missed a season of experience compared to me, whereas I was starting to get used to how these races worked.
Apart from [team co-owner] Barry Green and Honda, the biggest help in getting me that ride at AGR was Dario, and it had been ‘his’ team – he scored a lot of wins [10] for Team Green in CART, and he’d been part of the deal when Barry switched to IRL and partnered with Michael Andretti. I was fine that they would look to me for guidance for the team, but at the same time it was uncomfortable because it was by default and I felt it was being a little disrespectful to Dario. But me and him chatted and he was fine; Michael didn’t make anyone feel good or bad about it, he just wanted all of his cars to win as often as possible, so he didn’t care.
Truthfully, inside the team, we just carried on sharing information and working together. I mean, look at the history books: I won the title in 2004, Dan won in 2005, Dario won in 2007. I had a bit more responsibility, like at Indy, on opening day of practice, I’d be the guy who drove all four or five Andretti Green cars to check they were all handling OK.
Anyway, back to this race, I had an engine issue and the rules at the time were that if you changed engines, you had to start at the back. But you know what? I wasn’t bothered: I had such a good car, I still felt pretty confident. Those were crazy pack races so I knew anything could happen but, if I was careful, I could drive through the field and make my way forward. And that’s what we did. I ended up leading a bunch of laps [25] and Adrian only just beat me.
The weirdest thing was that I was not allowed to celebrate the championship properly because the League had a contract with Texas [Motor Speedway] that we would only celebrate at the final race! I just thought, ‘Whatever, man, I know I won the title,’ and Benny [Benito Santos, PR manager] has a picture of me and Dan at the end of pitlane in Fontana. His helmet is ‘kissing’ my helmet, like he’s saying, ‘Congratulations, you beat me.’ It’s just that the media weren’t allowed to make a big deal of it for another two weeks.

5. 2003 IndyCar at Phoenix
Car: Andretti Green Racing, Dallara-Honda
Result: 1st

Kanaan was still a CART IndyCar driver in 2002 for Mo Nunn Racing, but as other teams had before him during the CART vs Indy Racing League war, Nunn decided to make a one-off attempt at the IRL-sanctioned Indianapolis 500. His man Kanaan starred, qualifying fifth and leading 23 laps, but crashed out when he hit oil. Both switched full-time to IRL at year’s end, but did so separately as Kanaan had been offered a ride with Andretti Green Racing.
In the 2003 season opener at Homestead, Kanaan took pole and fastest lap, leading for 36 laps before ultimately finishing fourth. But in the second round at Phoenix, he was unstoppable. Again he started first, but this time he led 79 of the 200 laps including the last one, to finish just ahead of his old Indy Lights teammate and rival Castroneves and, ironically, Felipe Giaffone in Mo Nunn’s car. It was Kanaan’s only win of the season but his consistency was such that he clinched fourth in the championship.

TK: This was a massively important result for me, and not just because it was my first win in this new environment. If you remember, in CART I had been starting last in every one-mile oval we did! At Milwaukee one year, there were more cars than they could grid, and I almost didn’t start at all because we were slow, then PJ Jones in Dan Gurney’s Eagle had his Toyota blow up, so they let me on the grid.
But I had belief in my ability to race on ovals; I just needed a strong car. So it wasn’t a tough decision to switch to the all-oval IRL championship because you have to have a vision about the direction that things are going in the big picture. When Honda came to me and said, ‘We’re switching from CART to IRL next year, we want you to come with us,’ for me it was a no-brainer because if Honda was switching, then I could see which series was winning between CART and IRL. Penske had gone the same direction, so did Chip… so yeah, things were shifting. All ovals? Okay, it’s not exactly what I wanted to do but I figured that it would be okay and something will happen, the series will evolve. I missed going to Surfers Paradise and Long Beach and some of the other tracks on the CART schedule, but being a Honda guy, getting a ride with a top IRL team… it would be hard to say no to that, and so I didn’t.
Still, I knew I had something to prove on short ovals, and so this Phoenix win proved to me – proved to everybody – that if I had a good car like Andretti Green gave me, I could be strong on ovals. And yeah, it was a good feeling to beat my old buddy and rival Helio to the win! Actually, Helio and I had a collision later in the year – I was passing him for the lead in Texas and we hit. I got a puncture and he got bent suspension. If I had won that race, I’d have won the championship. Never mind: we got it done the next year.

4. 1999 CART IndyCar at Michigan
Car: Forsythe Racing, Reynard-Honda
Finished: 1st

Kanaan had graduated from Indy Lights to CART with Steve Horne’s Tasman Motorsports in 1998 and scored two podium finishes in his rookie year, along with three other top-five finishes to finish ninth in the championship. For 1999, Gerry Forsythe stepped in to form Forsythe Racing by buying a majority share of Tasman, with McDonald’s sponsorship.
Kanaan took pole in Long Beach and led 44 laps until a shunt, but clocked top-six finishes at Motegi, Rio de Janeiro and Road America. The 12th round of the season at Michigan International Speedway did not start promisingly, as a sudden engine failure in practice on Friday afternoon caused Kanaan to brush the wall at Turn 4. Further issues with the replacement engine forced him to switch to a back-up car, he went on to score a remarkable win when Team Rahal driver Max Papis ran out of fuel.

TK: It was my first win at Indycar level. The US 500 was supposed to be CART’s answer to the Indy 500, but to me and most people that’s bullshit. Nothing replaces Indy – ever! But that was the political war situation between the two series at the time. You look back and say, ‘What was everyone thinking?’ Anyway, this was still a big deal for us. I was leading at Long Beach when I crashed by myself like a dumbass, and this weekend at Michigan didn’t start off too good.
But the spare car was pretty strong, and I had reached third when I had to stop [on lap 79] because the Gurney flap was breaking off the rear wing. While they were fixing that, I went a lap down. I had also lost radio communication – I could hear the team, but they couldn’t hear me. You look back and think, of all the days for things to work out, this one did not seem like it was the one! I remember driving around thinking, ‘Seriously, what else can go wrong this weekend?’ And we win!
Max gave it to me by running out of gas on the last lap – he never got over that! – and honestly, after all the crap we’d been through up to then, I’d have been very happy to finish second. But that day showed me why you should never give up, even when the weekend has been a mess from day one.
Remember, we were using pitboards in those days, and we were lapping at 230mph, so we were going past the pitlane at 240, and the track was quite bumpy. You try and find your pitboard at that speed on a bumpy track! I couldn’t see anything, and the guy holding my pitboard was trying to tell me to go full rich on fuel when I was running full lean, so he was shaking the board to get my attention! Not a big help!
I truly couldn’t see it properly, and with our radio issue, I couldn’t tell the team that I couldn’t see the board… Anyway, thankfully I could hear them, eventually I got the message that I could go full rich on fuel and I closed on Max and passed him. I had to get on with the job, because Montoya was coming up behind me. I beat him by almost nothing [0.032sec] and although we got used to photo finishes in IRL, in CART at that time, that was quite unusual.

3. 1996 Indy Lights, Detroit
Car: Tasman Motorsports Group, Lola-Buick
Finished: 1st

After competing impressively in the Italian Formula 3 Championship in 1995, Kanaan grabbed the opportunity to move to the USA and race in Indy Lights the following year with Horne’s Tasman Motorsports Group. The idea was to gain experience in the first season, then hopefully compete for the championship in the second. At Long Beach in 1996 Kanaan finished right behind eventual champion David Empringham, who had taken the previous two Atlantic Championship titles, and he would push the Canadian hard again at Michigan until an electrical issue forced him to drop back. But Long Beach excepted, Kanaan had scored no other top-five finishes until the field arrived at Belle Isle for round six.

TK: Switching to American racing in 1996 was a big deal for me, but I knew I was joining a badass team. Steve Horne was totally straight with us about Indy Lights – first year you learn, second you win the championship or you better go home. Well, in that first year, Empringham was tough because he had experience of the tracks from racing Atlantics, and he was a good driver.
I was coming from Formula 3 and these Lights cars were twice the weight, so I had a lot to learn in not much time and whenever I was able to give David a hard challenge, that showed me I was doing well. I chased him all the way to the chequered flag at Long Beach and then I won Detroit – my first win in America, so a big moment in my career.
Later that season I scored a couple more podiums and then we dominated the last race, Laguna Seca. That was a perfect weekend which is what I needed to finish second in the championship. And then, like Steve had wanted, we won the Lights series the next year, so we could move up to IndyCar in 1998.

2. 1995 Formula 3 Imola
Tatuus Racing, Dallara-Fiat

Kanaan beat his hero Ayrton Senna in a kart race in 1991, and the three-time Formula 1 world champion was impressed enough to give the 16-year-old his phone number, telling him to call if there was anything he could do for him. That chance came at Hockenheim in 1993, when Kanaan was in the Formula Opel Lotus Euroseries which supported F1. His money had run out, and that was likely to be his final race. But he took pole, then met with Senna in the paddock explaining the budget issue. An hour later, Senna went to Kanaan’s team engineering trailer, chatted with the team owner and advised him to hire TK “because he’s better than me”. That did the trick.
In 1994, Kanaan moved to Formula Europa Boxer and was heartbroken to see his hero perish at Imola, but went on to win the championship in a Tatuus Alfa-Romeo. Tatuus, which had also run a team of Dallaras in Italian Formula 3 since 1989, graduated its Brazilian rising star for 1995 and he scored nine podiums that year. The zenith was a win at Imola.

TK: You know my story of meeting Ayrton – he was my idol, he also became a friend and he was one of the reasons I had those drives in Formula Alfa-Romeo Boxer and Italian F3. And it was so hard to swallow when we lost him. That year in F3, we were very consistent but Imola was my only win and what a place to do it.
After Ayrton’s accident they had modified some corners to make it safer, they had those S-bends replacing what we used to understand as Tamburello, but you still go past but with a lot more run-off. So on the slowdown lap, I stopped my car there and I went out to the tire wall and sat there and I just cried so hard. I’m sure Senna would have said, ‘What are you doing crying here, dumbass?! Go back and beat them again!’
But I also knew that it would probably be my last chance to race there because I was heading to America the next year, so it was really important to get a win after all those podiums. It helped us take fifth in the championship and achieving it at that circuit was so special.
It was also a nice end for my relationship with Tatuus – people forget it was a team before it became a racecar constructor – and I helped develop the chassis that became the Formula Renault car. And the Pedrazzani brothers who ran the Fiat engines told me they had plans for me, that I would become their works driver the following year, so it was the hardest thing in the world to tell them, ‘Sorry, I’m going to America.’
Not many people know this, but I had a contract with Audi to replace Emmanuele Pirro in the Italian Touring Car Championship because they were switching him to another series [the German super touring championship]. I was going to team up with Dindo Capello, and I was offered money that I couldn’t even imagine at that time. I was a poor Brazilian kid living in a room above a race shop, here I was being offered a very good salary, a car, a house… and I turned it down! That didn’t sit well with the boss of Audi! He couldn’t understand because my Indy Lights deal was not even confirmed yet and I had said no to racing an Audi Quattro in a great championship. But I was young, you take those risks at that time and I wanted to race open-wheel cars.
Who knows how it might have turned out? Maybe I would have been like Dindo and Allan McNish and been with Audi forever, moved from touring cars to sportscars and have a bunch of Le Mans wins – but then I wouldn’t be an Indy 500 winner. At the time, you just never know how significant your choices might be further down the road…

1. 2013 Indianapolis 500
Car: KV Racing, Dallara-Chevrolet
Finished: 1st

The night before Carb Day at Indy in 2013, KV Racing co-owner Jimmy Vasser told Autosport he was quietly confident for raceday – even though Kanaan, in his third year with the team, had only qualified only 12th.
“Last week Tony was saying he didn’t like the car. He said it handled well running on his own but it was slow, whereas in traffic it was fast but all over the place handling-wise. So he and Eric [Cowdin, race engineer] were working on solutions to that. Then on Bump Day we found something. A couple of hours into practice, Tony comes into the pits and says, ‘That’s it, that’s the best car I’ve ever had here. Clean it, put it away, don’t touch it mechanically.’ If anyone should know what a good car feels like at Indy, it’s him. So I think he’s got a good chance on Sunday. It’s a strong racecar.”
A couple of days later, at the 12th time of asking, Kanaan kissed the bricks.

TK: I knew on Bump Day I had a car at least as good as anyone else’s, and when it was still strong in the very different conditions on Carb Day, I thought, ‘okay, we’re ready. Let’s not mess around and maybe get lost and make it worse, or just second-guess ourselves’. But that race, I don’t think anyone knew how crazy it was going to get. Number of leaders [14], number of lead changes [68] – those were both records, although to be honest, the lead changes should have been higher because that number doesn’t count all the lead changes going on down the back straight as well! It was also the fastest 500 [187.433mph] because there were hardly any caution periods. Amazing.
The action never stopped. If you were leading, you were going to be passed; no one could get away out front. It was strange because in the 11 previous times I’d been there, I had already led over 200 laps [223, in fact] but that day, having all those years of experience didn’t mean shit! It was just so totally different.
If I’m honest, even with a strong car I didn’t go into the race with a real expectation to win that day, because I’d had great cars in the past and things had gone wrong. I just wanted to make sure we gave ourselves the chance – like they say, keep knocking at the door until it opens. Also, we didn’t have the sponsorship to continue after the 500 – not many people know that but it’s true; we were really struggling. I went into the race thinking, ‘whatever happens, I need to enjoy this because who knows when I will be back?’
The toughest decision for me was to take the lead from Ryan Hunter-Reay at Turn 1 on the restart with three laps to go because that was a statement that I wanted to go for it, but I knew I would probably lose it at the start of the next lap, and who knows what was going to happen on the last lap? All I knew was that I had to be ready for anything. The other thing I knew was that the guys I was racing with at that moment – Hunter-Reay, [Carlos] Munoz, Marco [Andretti] – I was stronger than them out of Turn 4. If I followed them out of T4, I was leading by the time we reached the finish line. That’s a good thing to have in your head – to know that if I was second out of Turn 4 on Lap 200, I’m going to win the race – but I had to be second, not third.
If you go back and listen to our radio, under yellow I tell the team, ‘I’m going for it. It’s gonna be all or nothing,’ because I was thinking about how I lost this race in the past. If there’s another yellow, there’s not going to be time to clear up the wreck before the end, so if I’m not leading when that happens, I’m gonna go nuts! Sure enough, the green waves, I get a good restart, go inside Hunter-Reay and hold off Munoz, and then as I’m coming out of Turn 2 I hear ‘Yellow, yellow, yellow!’ [Franchitti had hit the Turn 1 wall]. And I suddenly realize I had played the tactic absolutely right. If anyone says, ‘Oh, you won under yellow,’ I’m gonna say, ‘I don’t care! I’ve won.’ Anyway, I’ve lost under yellow enough times, now I win.
It was special for me for other reasons too. Alex Zanardi [2001 teammate] was there and before the race he brought me a Paralympic Gold Medal he had won the previous year, and I took it with me to my bus and took a nap before the race, hugging this medal to me.
Then there was another medallion story. A lot of us drivers do the Riley Children’s Hospital visits over the month of May each year, and I had a little medallion that my mom had given me back when I was a kid. As I grew up, it would no longer fit around my neck, so I kept it in my pocket.
Anyway, I think it was 2008 when I went to the hospital this day and saw a girl, a teenager called Andrea who had had a stroke, had been in a coma and she was due for surgery the next day. I was looking at pictures of her on the wall, and I was talking to her mom, and I felt this medallion in my pocket and I said, ‘Listen, this is gonna sound a little weird but my mother gave this to me when I was a kid to protect me when I’m racing. Would you mind if I gave it to Andrea to keep in her gown while she’s having her surgery?’ Her mom was kind and agreed – anything that might help her kid, of course she was going to do.
Anyway, time went by, we lost contact, and then the week of the 500 in 2013, I’m in my bus and I get an envelope with the medallion inside. The letter with it says, ‘Hi, it’s Andrea, hope you remember me, I’m doing really good. I graduated, I’m engaged to be married…’ and so on. Really fantastic news. And then it says, ‘I’ve been watching all these years your quest for the Indy 500, and I think you should have your medallion back. Thank you and you better win on Sunday…’ So there, I had it in my pocket when we won. Crazy, huh?

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