Photo: Shawn Gritzmacher/INDYCAR

IndyCar 2017 Driver Preview – Tony Kanaan

By Josh Farmer, IndyCar Reporter

Age: 42

Years in IndyCar: 19

Wins: 17

Podiums: 76

Career Laps led: 3996

2016-17 Team: Chip Ganassi Racing

Tony Kanaan is still going strong as he enters his 20th season in Indy car racing.

The 2004 Verizon IndyCar Series champion went winless in 2016 and ended the year in seventh place, just one spot behind teammate Scott Dixon.

He had a couple legitimate shots at winning at Road America and Texas. An extended yellow at Road America robbed his chance at overtaking Will Power for the win. He was in the thick of the dazzling fight at Texas before ending up third behind race winner Graham Rahal and James Hinchcliffe.

Qualifying in the top 10 11 times, he was one of the most consistent qualifiers in the series. He finished all but one race and had a decent average finish of 8.8.

The only thing missing from the 42-year-old this year was being able to compete with the Team Penske juggernauts throughout the year.

While Kanaan is in his 40s, he does not seem to be slowing down physically or mentally.

He still has that same raw ambition that has carried him throughout his career. He just needs to step it up another level to be on pace with the Penske dominators.

The Honda aero kit gives the team both a new challenge and a fresh start.

A solid former relationship with the Japanese manufacturer gives the team and drivers a good foundation. With some of the best engineers in the paddock working on the cars, figuring out the kit is not going to be a massive challenge for the team.

The team has already shown pace with the aero kit in testing as Ganassi cars swept the top four spots at the Sebring International Raceway earlier this week.

If everything comes together with Honda and Kanaan can keep up with the demand, watch for him to take it to the next level.

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Josh Farmer joined the media center in 2012 after first discovering his love of IndyCar racing in 2004 at Auto Club Speedway. He has been an accredited member of the IndyCar media center since 2014 and also contributes to along with The Motorsports Tribune.

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