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Danica Patrick's teammate, Tony Kanaan, Takes Fifth

Danica Patrick's teammate, Tony Kanaan, Takes Fifth

Motegi, Japan

Tony Kanaan, a teammate of Danica Patrick's on the four-car-strong Andretti/Green Indycar Race Team, ran strongly at Motegi, but come the last few laps, Kanaan knew a podium-finish (top three) might be possible for him, but a win was out of the question. Being one of the most experienced, smartest and most-liked drivers in Indycar, and whatever other series in which he's competed, he's held a warm spot in fans' hearts for years, so Kanaan no doubt enjoyed Patrick's win, too. Kanaan, whose full name is "Antoine Rizkallah Kanaan Filho", was born on New Year's Eve (December 31st), 1974, in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, stands 5'5", weighs under 150 pounds and now lives in Miami, FL, with his wife, Daniele, whom he married in 2003. He started racing in karts, which is the typical start for future South American and European race car drivers, building them as well as driving, and earning the use of a kart instead of a paycheck, which kept him on the race tracks and off the streets. He's an accomplished tri-athlete, and competed in the California Half-Ironman in April, 2003. Kanaan also enjoys bicycling, go-karting and watersports and he's a former rollerblade instructor (at least that's what his official bio says; though maybe it's just something he used to "tell the girls"). He speaks English, Portuguese, Italian and some Spanish and lists Ayrton Senna and Alex Zanardi as his racing idols (something we definitely agree on). Crowned 1997 Dayton Indy Lights Champion, Kanaan was also named the 1998 Jim Trueman CART Rookie of the Year (Trueman was Bobby Rahal's team owner and partner for many years, before his death from cancer at a too young age). He was the 2004 IndyCar Series champion, and finished second in the 2005 Series championship. He has not won the Indy 500, but did win the pole position in 2005, and has had seven career IndyCar Series wins and six IndyCar Series poles; he also won the CART race at Michigan in 1999.

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