Photo: Bret Kelley/INDYCAR

2017 IndyCar Driver Review: Tony Kanaan

By Christopher DeHarde, IndyCar & Road to Indy Writer

Motorsports Tribune reviews the season of the top 10 drivers from the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series championship. Our list begins with the man that finished in the 10 spot, Tony Kanaan.

Tony Kanaan, No. 10 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

  • 2017: 10th in championship
  • Wins: 0, Top 5: 3, Top 10: 7, Poles: 0, Laps Led: 22
  • Best Finish: 2nd (Texas)

The 2017 season was much like his previous three seasons – A runner-up finish in the summer, a few top fives peppered around the year with the season ending mostly on a negative note, leading to his dismissal from CGR.

At the start of the year, the 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner posted two finishes outside the top 10 but was able to claw back some good finishes at Phoenix and at Barber. Bad luck came in the form of two extra pit stops at the INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and dropped his momentum leading to the rest of the month of May and the Indianapolis 500, where Kanaan led 22 laps en route to a fifth place finish.

The next oval at Texas would prove to be his most controversial.

After being involved in several incidents and even receiving a mid-race penalty, Kanaan managed to claw his way back and finish second, his best result of the year. But as far up as he finished in Texas would be as far down as he would finish at Road America, crashing out at The Kink after a battle for real estate with Alexander Rossi and ended the day finishing in 21st.

The rest of the season would be one most would want to forget. A ninth at Iowa and a fifth at Pocono were the only saving graces, but all other finishes were 16th and below.

The 42-year-old Brazilian’s final place of 10th in the championship was second best among his three teammates (Scott Dixon – 3rd, Max Chilton – 11th, Charlie Kimball – 17th)

Since the end of the season, Kanaan, the 2004 IndyCar champion, moved on to A.J. Foyt Racing to drive the legendary No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet.

The new beginning for Kanaan might be the best thing to happen to him. With a new body kit coming in, downforce is also reduced and so should lap times, leading to a kind of car that Kanaan first drove when he came into Indy car racing.

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A 2012 graduate of LSU, Christopher DeHarde primarily focuses on the NTT IndyCar Series and the WeatherTech Sports Car Championship. DeHarde has actively covered motorsports since 2014.