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Finding 2014 funding next step for Indy 500 champ Kanaan post-Baltimore

Aug 29, 2013, 8:00 AM EDT

IndyCar Sonoma Auto Racing AP

This year’s Indianapolis 500 champion Tony Kanaan will shift from wearing his helmet to his business hat as soon as the weekend’s Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT goes in the books.

Kanaan came into KV Racing Technology – SH in an eleventh hour agreement prior to the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series, and signed a two-year contract to continue with the team through 2013 ahead of the 2012 season. Now a free agent, “TK” will move into overdrive for yet another offseason of working to find the sponsorship to stay on the grid.

“It’s always negotiations; my take on it, this is the new era,” Kanaan admitted during a media teleconference on Wednesday. “You have to put yourself out there and try to sell the product. The more sponsorship you bring, the more resources you can hire, the better things you can have for the team. For me, it’s another day in the office. People are starting to talk about all different things.”

Kanaan said he’ll use the month-long break inbetween Baltimore and Houston in October to go home to Brazil, speak with potential and some current sponsors, and work to “move things along for next year.”

While Kanaan has his options open in terms of where he could drive in 2014, he admitted the ‘500 victory was only step one in the KV building relationship with team principals Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser.

“We’re a fairly young team. I agree totally with Jimmy, we have not accomplished what we have hoped for,” Kanaan said. “Thank God we think like that because if you’re happy winning one race and having four or five podiums a year, that’s not the right mentality to go racing. We started working on the 500 in September of last year with a lot of things that we’ve done, not just in the shop, with the racecar and everything.  Obviously it paid off.  Now we look at each other and say, ‘OK, we need to work for 17 races and win a championship.’”

  1. mickkraut - Aug 29, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    Perhaps TK would have a slightly easier task in finding sponsors if he remembered to actually acknowledge them during on camera interviews.

    A great example was in mid-July when he and several other IndyCar drivers were on the today show promoting the premier of the movie Turbo…

    He shows up dressed like this…

    Sunoco was one of his sponsors and they were one of the sponsors of the movie yet TK shows up for the TODAY SHOW in a plain white golf shirt…Helio and RHR have sponsor logos displayed…dont think that potential sponsors dont notice that…

  2. purplesectornet - Aug 29, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    Well that’s cause he knew what the rest of us did about that movie and the significance it would have…give me a freaking break…

  3. snoopyo - Aug 30, 2013 at 12:51 AM

    It would be a travesty if he doesn’t have a ride for 2014. The series gets money from ApexBrasil how about taking some of that money and giving it to TK. Well hopefully he finds sponsorship and I hope him and Simona can be teammates again.

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