It's TK's Time

I can't help but feel sorry for Tony Kanaan when you put his name and the Indianapolis 500 in the same sentence. It seems like every year at the 500, something goes wrong or he falls just short, as I will now explain:

2002 - After leading 23 laps, Tony Kanaan spun on lap 90 after hitting an oil patch following mechanical failures by Bruno Junqueira and Jimmy Vassar, resulting in a 28th place finish. Helio Castroneves went on to win his second straight Indy 500.

2003 - TK started second, but stood no chance against the superior Penske car and set up, as he went on to finish third. Gil de Ferran won the race.

2004 - TK ran up with the leaders all day, leading 28 laps, but finished second following a shortened race by 20 laps due to rain. Buddy Rice won the race.

No photographer listed

2005 - After capturing his first pole and leading 54 laps, TK quickly faded to the middle of the field and finished eighth place. Dan Wheldon won the race.

2006 - Pit strategy played a huge role in the 2006 Indy 500, as Tony Kanaan inherited the lead with 17 laps to go, but he needed a splash of fuel. Coming down the pits, a yellow flag came out, and TK came back out in fourth place. He would eventually finish fifth. Sam Hornish Jr won the race.

2007 - Maybe the most heartbreaking for Kanaan in his career, as after running up front the whole race, rain came, with the red flag being thrown with TK in the lead. Since the race was beyond halfway over, if the track was deemed beyond saving, TK would be declared the winner. But unfortunately for him, the race resumed. He was cycled to the back after he pitted under yellow and many others did not. On the next restart on lap 156, TK avoided a crashed Jacques Lazier, spun the car, kept it off the wall, but blew a tire. He could never recover, as he finished 12th. Dario Franchitti won the race.

2008 - While trying to pass TK, Marco Andretti sent to TK into the marbles, tapping the wall sending him into a spin and getting t-boned for Sarah Fisher, ending both of their races, while Marco went on to finish third. Scott Dixon won the race.

Photo: AP

2009 - Heading down the backstretch in third place, TK suffered a drive shaft failure, causing the car to veer into the wall on the straight, head on its current path, and then smash the wall again, this time in turn three. The impact was recorded at 175 Gs. That's a nasty collision.

2010 - It was rough just getting into the show for TK in 2010, as he crashed on Pole Day. On Bump Day (the following day), TK spun the backup car in a practice session, wrecking the car and compromising his chances to qualify. He did qualify, and started the race from 33rd position. In the race, TK became the second driver ever to start last and lead a lap. The fuel strategy failed, and TK finished 11th. Dario Franchitti won the race.

2011 - After qualifying 22nd, TK was running fourth before having a mishap in the pits, putting him two laps down. He courageously fought his way back to second place, but ended up finishing fourth. Dan Wheldon won the race.

2012 -  Making the Fast Nine for the first time, TK started eighth. In one of the best maneuvers in Indy 500 history on lap 186, TK went from fifth to first on the front stretch. He was later passed for the lead, and finished third. Dario Franchitti won the race.

Photo: LAT Photographic 

Stats: Avg Start - 8.6
         Avg Finish - 12
         Best Start - 1st
         Best Finish - 2nd
         DNFs - 3
         Laps Led - 225

How is the guy not won a 500? It's only fitting that for every 500 until he retires, I will be cheering on TK in the hopes he wins. There is no one more deserving of a win than TK. So join me in cheering on TK at the 2013 Indy 500 and the rest of the season as well!

Let me know what you think.

-Matthew Hickey