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Kanaan to debut IndyCar season at Texas Doubleheader

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) – What should have been a farewell season for Tony Canaan turned into an almost empty racing tour.

He was then offered another chance to extend his IndyCar career, this time in the presence of fans. His first two races are scheduled for this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.

“It was actually one of the reasons I decided not to leave, not to retire because it was so sad,” Cana said. “I never thought I would be in a race like the Indianapolis 500 without anyone in the stands. “But we need the fans, the sport needs the fans to survive. I’m happy to compete in front of the fans.”

Kanaan’s second chance came thanks to NASA’s seven-time champion John Onson, who moved to IndyCar this year but only wanted to compete on the road chain. It left four open ovals in Chip Ganassi Racing # 48, և Kanaan was the perfect driver for the job.

He spent four seasons in Ganasi in 2014-17. With the same staff he will work with on car number 48 when he races on Saturdays and Sundays.

Kanaan, who has a two-year contract with the team, tested with Ganassi in Indy earlier this month, but the team skipped the Texas test because it is confident in its Fort Worth track package. Last year, Scott Dixon led 157 of the 200 laps to Ganassi in IndyCar’s opening race.

As a Ganassi driver, Canaan earned a pair of runners-up և third in Texas էր 10th for AJ Foyt Racing last season.

Although he has not been with IndyCar since August և Canaan was due to retire, team owner Chip Ganas said he did not see the reunion as a way to properly send the 46-year-old Brazilian.

“When it comes to TK, it’s about performance, about winning,” said Ganas. “We want to be able to win the car with him.”

Texas marks the third consecutive week of the IndyCar series և double head, no less, և first stop on the oval. It comes after last week’s St. Petersburg, Florida, street race in high humidity that squeezed drivers who are not yet in top condition.

Canaan is not very fresh. Over the weekend, he ran a fundraiser in Brazil and then flew to the United States to compete in Texas. But where he sets himself apart, he prepares, he said, and he will be ready for a two-night 690-mile race in Texas.

“Some people say I’m a training freak, but it all has to do with how you prepare,” Cana said. “Some of the drivers said how hot it was last week, so I went to the gym every day in the winter and did a sauna at 150 degrees. It is a preparation. I like to say that I am a little more prepared. ”

FITTIPALIDI debut

Pietro Fitipaldi wants to compete wherever he can in any open row. His next opportunity comes in IndyCar Texas for his first races since the 2018 season.

Fittipaldi manages the four ovals of the Dale Coyne Racing schedule in car number 51 with Romain Grosjean, who conducts road and street training. He is also the reserve driver of the Haas Formula 1 team, and last year he made his F1 debut at the Sakhir Grand Prix in November after Grosgen’s injury.

Fitipaldi is the grandson of two-time F1 champion and two-time Indy 500 winner Emerson Fitipaldi. He has six IndyCar careers, all of which run Coyne in 2018.

“I want to finish full time, that is the main goal,” Fitipaldi said. “I would like to compete with IndyCar, not just for road courses, but for ovals. You need a lot of sponsorship these days, I hope to get something sooner, but I want to be patient, persistent, to find the right opportunity. ”

Fittipaldi was tested earlier this month in both Texas and Indianapolis.

DECISIONS AND ABOVE. More than 200 IndyCar Padok members have registered to receive their first or second shot after Sunday’s race in Texas as part of a massive coronavirus vaccination campaign. IndyCar owner Roger Penske was allowed to host 135,000 spectators for the Indianapolis 500, and the vaccine helped him gain approval for the biggest sporting event since the epidemic began. Y This weekend marks the oval debut of IndyCar newcomer Scott McLaughlin, Australia’s three-time V8 Supercars defending champion. … Alex Palu is the current leader in points, but only 40 points out of 18 drivers in the standings. With last week’s victory, Colton Herta jumped from 22nd to 4th.

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Additional AP car racing. Https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing և https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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