Tony Kanaan - IndyCar's prize fighter

Tony Kanaan - IndyCar's prize fighter

In our first feature from sister magazine RACER, we talk to Tony Kanaan. The 2011 season has seen the Brazilian at his combative best, but his indomitable spirit was revealed even before the season started...

Many pundits will tell you a change does you good. Meet the latest: Tony Kanaan. Mind you, the 2004 IndyCar Series champion wasn't looking for change. Comfortably ensconced at Andretti Autosport since 2003, Kanaan is one of the most popular and successful drivers in the IndyCar Series.

Then came TK's Winter of Despair. Just prior to the final race of the 2010 season, 7-Eleven Stores, Kanaan's primary sponsor for eight years, informed Michael Andretti it was cutting its support. With no sponsor and therefore no guarantee of a ride, Andretti offered Kanaan the opportunity to walk away and, to the surprise of many, TK chose to do that. His confidence seemed justified when, just before Christmas, he landed a deal to drive for De Ferran Dragon Racing. But unable to source sufficient sponsorship, that fell through. Just a month before the start of the 2011 season, Kanaan was still on the sidelines.

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