PODCAST: Tony Kanaan, IndyCar Racer

April 16, 2015

Tony Kanaan joins Adam and Matt to talk about racing the IndyCar series. Tony also recalls his days hanging out with Ayrton Senna and Paul Newman before telling the story of how he got into racing.

Hosts: Adam Carolla and Matt D’Andria
Producer: Chris Laxamana

Photos referenced on this week’s CarCast

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  • Fieldengineer

    My survivor 1982 280ZX didn’t make it from PHX to the Newman Doc Primiere on Thursday but I had an adventure!

    Pretty wife gave me the green light to travel from Phoenix to Hollywood late Wednesday night – but I had just had to get my daughter to school the next morning. Got online and found out only movie tickets were available – bought one (going Stag) anyway. The Late Swede Savage’s son turned me down the previous week (he had Glen Helen commitments- ie work) – so I wasn’t planning on making the trip. Swede died from injuries racing at Indy so your charity event is admirable.

    My trip was doomed as I had not prepped my old datsun – but I thought, what the hell go in the Datsun or don’t go! So I put some insurance on the stock survivor (I have multiple vehicles/motos) late the night before. My dependable 1994 t-bird mocked me as I was getting the car ready early Thursday morning.

    Took my daughter to the bus stop, (Sonny’s Age) and she waved her hand in front of her nose to say the 280Z was ‘stinky’ as she climbed out – it did have more of a ‘gas’ smell than usual. I drove to fuel up (I still had to pack) and I popped the hood while I was filling up. Suddenly the vapors hit me and I saw a ‘pool’ of petrol below the fuel rail – panic waved over me as I thought the hot engine and car was going to catch fire. No towels at the station – ran in to get napkins and I mopped up the fuel and drove home 1/2 mile away.

    I thought the trip would not happen with the Z, but I found that the No. 2 injector had a ‘loose’ fuel line- couple turns of the screw removed the leak. I ran the engine as I checked for the fire extinguisher that was buried in the back. All looked fine – so I checked the old tires and realized that PHX was not kind to tires – enough tread, but sidewalls marginal – I knew a trip to Discount would not get me to the premier on time. So I put a portable compressor – just in case, along with my Field Engineer’s tool bag to take care of any issues. I had no usable spare.

    I quickly packed and then picked up the house a little so Pretty Wife would not be upset (She wasn’t keen on the trip and told me to take dependable t-bird). I got onto the road just in time to meet a large traffic snarl moving through PHX.

    Just as I got out of the City, my Z started to pull hard to the right. Oh no, I Thought, a bushing has gone – oh no, it was the front right tire deflating and then shredding as I navigated to get to the side of the freeway- missing Tractor trailers and just getting to the 91st Ave off ramp. I had to limp the car on it’s rim to get out of the major traffic on the freeway.

    There I sat, realizing that someone might not want me alone in Hollywood with celebrities like Matt the Motorator watching Paul Newman. I got out popped the hood – no fuel leaks. Tire almost off rim – rim looked ok. Got on the cell phone as I had no spare and got my insurance to find me a tow. (Yay for road hazard insurance). Tow truck 53 minutes out.

    As I waited, I ate the lunch I packed as the Tractor trailer’s were blowing past me so hard that it lifted my hood, got out and shut hood. I then made a call to Discount to arrange a tire purchase. Got to the tire shop via the late tow truck (one hour) – unfortunately the name Adam Carolla did not make them move any faster. I negotiated tires and the shop got my car out after two hours. Had an offer to buy the Z – I passed the time reading the mags at the store.

    I then pulled out of the Shop at 2:15 pm. At this point I could drive the 6.5 hours to Hollywood with the Sun in my eyes and no AC (did I mention no AC?) and watch people leave the movie, or pick up Pretty Wife and take her for a much needed Microbrew in downtown PHX. I chose the latter. I would have missed the movie, and probably would not have gotten any after party time, as It was sold out at the time.

    Pretty Wife was glad I was safe, but did the ‘I told you so’ as we both tossed back a Happy Hour micro-brew at our favorite 1920’s Craftsman House/converted restaurant in downtown.

    I often thought my personally autographed Adam Carolla signed Datsun 280ZX manual that was in the glove box would have brought me luck – but that wasn’t the case. Adam signed it, along with the Mangria the last time he was in town (I was the Buell guy.)

    Anyway, I am kicking myself for not making the trip, but Pretty Wife is happy – as I planted her Lemon tree in the back yard on Friday and my daughter was happy as she doesn’t trust the Z to much and didn’t want me to go to CA.

    Hope to hear about the event – wish I could have made it.

    Take Careful,

  • DougHI

    Best show yet. Nice to hear Tony’s opinion of Laguna Seca.
    Gotta find my photos of Lance Reventlow and Chuck Daigh finishing one two in their Scarabs.

  • Doug Escriva

    I love Laguna Seca, had a great time particapting in the 2013 Rolex Historics. Ace needs to take the ex-Newman cars to the America’s “Nurburgring”, Road American for some real top speed….

  • Artslinger

    This is one of my favorite CarCast’s