Kanaan Joins Prelude Field

IZOD IndyCar Series fan-favorite driver and nine-time Indianapolis 500 competitor Tony Kanaan will race in the Gillette Fusion ProGlide Prelude to the Dream charity race at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio on June 9.

Kanaan, the 2004 IZOD IndyCar Series champion, will have an action-packed day as he will test his No. 11 Team 7-Eleven car for Andretti Autosport at the Watkins Glen International road course all day before flying to western Ohio to compete on Eldora’s half-mile, high-banked dirt oval the evening of June 9.

“I always have watched it (the Prelude) on TV, and when (Juan Pablo) Montoya made his first attempt a few years ago some guys I know said they’d like to see me driving on the dirt,” Kanaan said June 4 at Texas Motor Speedway, where he was preparing for the IZOD IndyCar Series’ Firestone 550K. “It will be difficult. I’ll be jumping out of a full-day test and go straight to a car that I’ve never seen before in my life. It’s about having fun, it’s for a good cause and I’m excited.”

The Gillette Fusion ProGlide Prelude to the Dream will be presented live on HBO Pay-Per-View at 7 p.m. (ET) on June 9 with net proceeds from the telecast benefiting four children’s hospitals. Former IZOD IndyCar Series champion and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team owner/driver Tony Stewart owns Eldora and organizes the popular race.

Kanaan, who advanced 22 positions to finish 11th in the Indianapolis 500 on May 30, will join top drivers such as Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Travis Pastrana, Jimmie Johnson, Ricky Carmichael, Jeff Gordon and others, to race 2,300-pound Late Model stock cars at Eldora. The field will be broken up into four teams, with drivers competing in hot laps, qualifying, heat races and a 30-lap feature.

“It’s an amazing lineup of drivers and we’re all competing for such a good cause,” said Kanaan. “It’s very rare for me to get a chance to drive something other than my Team 7-Eleven Indy car and to not have to race with points in mind. I’m not saying I’m going to do anything crazy because the goal is to help my team win, but I’m definitely going to have some fun next week.”

Stewart, Johnson, Gordon and other NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers racing in the Prelude will also compete in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 25.

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