Kanaan drives American Legion car to 10th-place finish in Indy 500
Tony Kanaan drove the No. 48 American Legion car to a 10th-place finish in the 105th Indy 500. (Photo by Ben Mikesell)

Kanaan drives American Legion car to 10th-place finish in Indy 500

A late charge by veteran Tony Kanaan pushed The American Legion No. 48 car to a 10th-place finish in the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 30.

Kanaan, who qualified the Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) car fifth overall and had run near the top of the field throughout practice, was assessed a penalty on Lap 45 for receiving emergency service in a closed pit.

The penalty forced Kanaan to restart at the back of the field. He ran between 20th and 28th for the next 96 laps before moving into the top 20 on Lap 141. Kanaan was able to move up to ninth before settling at 10th when the checkered flag was waved in what was the fastest Indy 500 in history – 2:37:19.3846, beating the 2013 Indy 500 that Kanaan won.

After the race, Kanaan told CGR the penalty following the pit stop took him and his car out of contention with less than a fourth of the race gone.

“We got caught out in the yellow and the day was over,” Kanaan said. “I said we needed to run in the top five all day, otherwise it was going to be really, really, really hard. Our race was over before we even started it: getting caught in that yellow, having to pit and go to the back of the pack.

“We did everything we could. We had a fast car. We made some good passes. But I knew then I just had to fight, but I knew it was going to be difficult.”

Helio Castroneves joined Indianapolis Motor Speedway history, passing Kanaan teammate Alex Palou on Lap 198 and then holding off the 24-year-old to win his fourth Indy 500. The 46-year-old Castroneves joined A.J. Foyt, Rick Mears and Al Unser as the Indy 500's only four-time winners.

Palou, who finished third in the GMR Grand Prix two weeks ago driving the No. 10 American Legion, moved into first in the NTT INDYCAR Series points race.

Up next for Chip Ganassi Racing and the No. 48 car is the Detroit Grand Prix doubleheader June 12 and 13 on Belle Isle. Seven-time NASCAR Series champ Jimmie Johnson will drive the car for CGR during both races.