Kanaan savors image on Indianapolis 500 trophy
Tony Kanaan gave his nose a little scratch on the tip, then a
He had already kissed the bricks as the Indianapolis 500 winner.
It was time to plant one on his image on the Borg-Warner
Kanaan was honored this week as the latest Indy 500 winner
immortalized on the trophy awarded to the winner of the IndyCar
Series’ most prestigious race. He won his first Indy 500 in his
12th career start at the Brickyard in May.
”The guy did a better job than I thought,” Kanaan said at
Monday’s unveiling ceremony at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall
of Fame Museum.
Kanaan went nose-to-nose with the trophy and got a laugh at how
much it stuck out.
”I love it,” he said. ”It actually looks better than myself
right now. They did a good job, and it’s staying there forever, so
it’s a good thing.”
He’s the 100th different face on the trophy, joining drivers
such as Rick Mears and A.J. Foyt.
It’s fitting that Kanaan’s likeness goes on the Borg-Warner
trophy after the late Dan Wheldon and recently retired Dario
Franchitti, two of his closest friends. He made several
self-deprecating mentions after winning in May of ”his ugly face”
and ”big nose” finally making it onto the trophy.
”Growing up seeing all the big names winning, and then lately
having my two best friends Dan and Dario winning and putting my
face right beside them is an honor,” Kanaan said. ”To have the
three of us in a row is like somebody had a script a long time ago,
and they said that this is what’s going to happen. With such a
tragic end of Dan’s career and with Dario retiring, it’s an honor
to be right beside them.”
Kanaan, and KV Racing Technologies team owners Jimmy Vasser and
Kevin Kalkhoven will receive their ”Baby Borg” trophies in
So much has changed for Kanaan since he won at Indy. He’s off to
Target Chip Ganassi Racing in 2014.
Kanaan, the fourth Brazilian driver to have his image on the
trophy, posted an Indy 500 winning speed of 187.431 mph that
bettered the previous record of 185.981 set by Arie Luyendyk in
1990. Kanaan ended 12 years of frustration when he finally won in
May, thousands of fans screaming, ”TK! TK! TK!” on that long,
The glow from that milestone win still hasn’t faded.
”I was always nice to the track, and I could never understand
why she wouldn’t pick me,” Kanaan said. ”I always obeyed the
rules and tried to be nice.”
The Borg-Warner Trophy debuted at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in
1936 with the 24 faces of the drivers who had previously won the
event. There is one non-driver on the trophy, Tony Hulman, who
purchased the track in 1945 and was the owner until he died in