Tony Kanan is known for his NTT IndyCar Series exploits as champion 2004 and 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner. While currently participating in Stock Car Brazil, he wants to try American stock cars. In an exclusive interview with the Brazilian motorsport publication Big Premiumhe revealed he was in talks to lead two NASCAR road races in 2022. Kanaan did not specify a team or series, but added that Chip Ganassi Racing IndyCar teammate and sevenfold NASCAR Cup Series champion jimmy johnson assistance in negotiations.
“There is an opportunity, still very distant, it is still too early to tell, but to do at least two NASCAR races on the road courses here in the United States, especially now that I am racing Stock Car. Kanaan said Big Premium.
Kanaan is no stranger to closed-wheel racing, winning the 2015 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in the whole and meddle in the Superstar racing experience. Before joining Ganassi’s IndyCar program in 2014, he had a meeting with NASCAR powerhouse Joe Gibbs Race about the potential race in the now-Xfinity Series before moving to the Cup Series, although no contract offers came.
Since retiring from full-time IndyCar racing in 2020, Kanaan has returned to his native Brazil to race Stock Car Brasil for Bassani full time. After finishing thirty-second in the 2021 standings, he currently sits seventeenth in points with a best finish of eleventh at the Autódromo Internacional Ayrton Senna. His teammate for the Duplas Corrida multi-driver races (as in José Carlos Pace) is Pietro Fittipaldianother IndyCar driver and former NASCAR Regional Series champion.
Due to its SCB obligations, a NASCAR start should avoid conflict with said series. For example, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course the July 31-August 1 slate seems like an obvious choice for NASCAR, but it’s the same weekend as SCB’s race at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace. The Cup and Xfinity road races at Road America (July 2/3) is also in conflict with Stock Car Brasil’s Velopark race.
Conversely, Portland International Racecourse (June 4), Sonoma Tour (June 11/12), Watkins Glen International (August 20/21), and the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval (October 8/9) are off weekends for SCB. The Camping World Truck Series‘ Date from July 9 to Mid Ohio Sports Car Course is also an open date. Kanaan has already won at Sonoma in IndyCar.
“There are several factors for this to happen,” He continued. “The main thing is that I have no conflict with my calendar for this year, which is already full. Stock car racing (in Brazil) is a priority, so we’re trying to fit in.
The interview comes just a day after another freewheeling migration to NASCAR was revealed in the form of the 2007 Formula 1 world champion Kimi Raikkonen announcing his Cup debut at Watkins Glen.