2014 MAVTV 500 WINNER TONY KANAAN ENSHRINED INTO AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY’S WALK OF FAME

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FONTANA, Calif. (June 27, 2015) – Tony Kanaan was inducted into the Auto Club Speedway’s IndyCar Walk of Fame, reserved for Fontana’s past champions, in front of a large crowd of his fans shortly before the MAVTV 500.

Before taking the plunge into the fresh, smoothly-manicured cement, Kanaan joked that he didn’t intend for anyone to follow in his footsteps as the Verizon IndyCar Series ironman prepared to make his IndyCar-record 244th consecutive start on Saturday.

“You’rgoing to have to make some more space for me. After today, we’re going to have to do it again,” said the Brazilian IndyCar veteran in the No. 10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.

Located on the weat end of the O’Reilly Auto Parts Fan Zone, the Auto Club Speedway’s Walk of Fame ceremony is a fan-favorite event.

Kanaan joins past Auto Club Speedway winners Will Power (2013), Ed Carpenter (2012), Dario Franchitti (’05), Adrian Fernandez (’99, ’04), Sam Hornish Jr. (’02, ’03), Cristiano da Matta (’01), Christian Fittipaldi (’00), Jimmy Vasser (’98, ‘02) and Mark Blundell (’97) as IndyCar drivers to be enshrined in the Auto Club Speedway Walk of Fame.

“We’ve got a lot of TK fans here,” Auto Club Speedway president Dave Allen said. “Anywhere you go, you find them. Tony is a great friend of Auto Club Speedway.”

As Walk of Fame festivities transpired on Saturday morning, Kanaan almost left a most unique imprint on the Auto Club Speedway shrine. After Allen presented Kanaan with his Walk of Fame plaque and it was set into the ground, Kanaan literally set foot into Speedway lore by lacing up his racing boots and stepping into the concrete.

 

Only the light-footed, 167-pound Kanaan could not leave deep enough footprints into the ground upon first step. So he stepped back into his prints, pushed down with each foot – one at a time – and almost wound up falling over upon momentarily losing his balance.

After stabilizing himself, and the ensuing sigh of relief, and signing his name into the cement, Kanaan took a moment to share his appreciation for Auto Club Speedway.

“A lot of people don’t know this but my (Verizon IndyCar Series) championship in 2004, I won it here. I have good memories of this place and I love coming here,” Kanaan said of Auto Club Speedway. I can’t thank you fans enough for the support. The fans are the best around here. I always enjoy meeting all of the fans.”

 

Kanaan claimed his 17th IndyCar race victory at last year’s MAVTV 500, running at an average speed of 196.111 mph. He finished runner-up at Auto Club Speedway in 2004 and 2005. He begins on the outside of Row 3 after qualifying sixth out of the 23 entries with an average speed of 217.184 mph.

 

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About Auto Club Speedway: Located 50 miles east of Los Angeles in Fontana, California, Auto Club Speedway is California’s premier motorsports facility, hosting over 320 days of track activity each year including the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 weekend in March and INDYCAR’s MAVTV 500, June 26-27. The two-mile D-shaped oval is one of the fastest tracks on the INDYCAR and NASCAR circuits. The Speedway is also home to numerous movies, television and commercial productions, photo shoots, new car testing, club racing and a variety of racing schools. For more information on events at Auto Club Speedway call 1-800-944-RACE (7223) or visit www.autoclubspeedway.com. For more information on event lodging, visit the Hilton Garden Inn, Fontana, the official hotel partner of Auto Club Speedway and Auto Club Dragway.

 

Related Topics

IndyCar Series, Walk of Fame

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