Kanaan lets 500 ride on number 10 in Indy

Fri May 23, 2014 7:05pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) - In a sport defined by hair-raising speed, it is no surprise how quickly things can change in IndyCar.

A year ago, Tony Kanaan arrived at the Brickyard driving for a small team and given little hope of ending 12 frustrating years of Indianapolis 500 heartbreak.

The Brazilian returns this year as one of the biggest names in IndyCar, the defending champion and racing for a glamour team in a seat left vacant by his best friend Dario Franchitti, who was forced into retirement by a life-threatening accident.

"I've been around a long time and I have seen a lot of things happen," said Kanaan. "When I lost my dad at 13, I realized you have to live day by day and that's the way I have approached life since then.

"If you told me last year I would be replacing my best friend who was still a very good race car driver, I would say you are crazy.

"There are things you can't predict. You have to be prepared for anything good or bad.

"Life will bring you whatever needs to happen."

Kanaan has always believed that it is the race that decides the winner and for over a decade it seemed the Brickyard and fate had conspired against him.   Continued...

May 17, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; IndyCar Series driver Tony Kanaan during qualifying for the 2014 Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports