This weekend Tony Kanaan will look to start his 295th consecutive IndyCar race, a feat that would extend his record streak which began at Portland in 2001.
Kanaan enters this weekend’s Honda Indy Toronto in 15th place in the standings, a position the Brazilian is eager to improve on. Only four full-time drivers are lower than Kanaan in the standings.
Kanaan is no stranger to disappointing starts to the season, however if he is to get his 2018 campaign back on track he will need a strong finish this weekend on the streets of Toronto.
The 2013 Indy 500 winner has enjoyed a string of success at Toronto in recent years, having finished inside the top 10 in four of the last five races.
“Toronto is always a fun track to go to – it’s a really fast street-course,” said Kanaan. “I love the venue, it’s one of the most fun races of the year.”
Aside from his recent success at Toronto, this weekend’s race may provide the best opportunity for Kanaan to better his position in the standings as it is on a street course. His best result of the season was a 7th place in Race 2 at Detroit.
“I know we have a good street course car so I’m looking forward to maybe getting a podium for A.J. (Foyt) and cheer him up a bit,” said the driver of the #14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Chevrolet.
Kanaan’s teammate Matheus Leist will also be looking for a strong result at Toronto to better his position in the standings. Leist enters this weekend’s race following a disappointing last-place result in Iowa, after a mechanical failure forced the #4 to retire on Lap 40.
Leist is somewhat familiar with the Toronto track, having finished in 5th place in the second race of last year’s Indy Lights doubleheader.
“I’m excited to be racing at Toronto again, it’s a pretty cool track,” said Leist.
Like Kanaan, Leist will be hoping for a strong result at the series’ final street course race of the season.
“It’s a street course which are tracks that I love, so we’ll try to have a great car so we can finish up front,” said the Brazilian rookie.
As of now, it remains unclear what the AJ Foyt Racing team’s plans are for the 2019 season. However, the team is no stranger to making big moves in the off-season to ensure strong results the following year.
In 2017, a switch to Chevrolet engines caused disappointing results for then Foyt drivers Carlos Munoz and Conor Daly, who were both let go from the team in the off-season.
If Kanaan and Leist want to secure their rides for next year they will need to find ways to turn their luck around soon. Toronto seems to be the perfect place for the two Brazilian drivers to do just that.