Time To Buy Another Tony Kanaan Die-Cast
Greetings from somewhere in northern Alabama! I’m wrapping up my last week of overnight travel until January. I don’t get to read as much about what’s going in the IndyCar world on the road, as I normally would at home. Slow hotel wi-fi makes it slow and difficult enough to upload my reports for work. I wouldn’t dare waste time and bandwidth on one of my hobbies. Fortunately, George and Facebook keep me up to date about anything big in IndyCar.
When we talked Wednesday night, he was telling me about how Tony Kanaan will be back in the #10 car, but it won’t be a Target car anymore. What!!?? There has been a #10 Target car in the ten years I’ve been a fan.
My first year to go to the Indy 500 was in 2004, when George took his daughter and I took my oldest son Eric. I had to ask George to remind me who drove the #10 car that day. He says it was Darren Manning, so I’m assuming it was. Tony Kanaan didn’t win the race that day. He finished second, but you would have thought he finished last by the way Eric acted. I’m still not sure why, but Eric became a Tony Kanaan fan that day. Ten years later, if Tony Kanaan crashes out of a race, Eric wants to leave. Eric was crushed that the race was called early. He swears that Kanaan would’ve caught and passed Buddy Rice if the race had gone 200 laps.
After all this time, Eric is still a Tony Kanaan fan. We have practically every die-cast Tony Kanaan car that’s been made, including the Hulk car that I think was driven only once. We have several versions of the 7-Eleven car, the lime green Geico car and the Hydroxycut car that Kanaan won Indy in. That one is cool because it has a little Tony Kanaan figure to go with it. Most of these, Eric has managed to track Tony down to get his autograph on each car.
When TK moved over to the Target car, I dug deep and bought him one and was able to get it autographed as well. I was thinking that this would probably be the last Kanaan car we would be buying since Eric is now 24 and Kanaan is probably with his last team before he retires.
But no…George tells me that Kanaan will be driving the NTT Data car next year. You know what that means. Yep. We’re going to be hunting down another one next May and Eric is going to have to hunt Tony down again for another autograph on one of his cars.
But that’s not the only reason I am disappointed about this move. I felt like Tony Kanaan would retire a Target driver. It made me want to shop at Target that much more. George says that 1994 was the last year that there was only one Target car. Apparently Michael Andretti drove it. I had no idea that Andretti ever drove for Chip Ganassi. Who knew?
But now they are down to one again. Is this a bad sign? Are they scaling back? Will it get worse next year?
My husband says that Target is going to use the extra cash to promote their involvement in racing and if they do it right it could be a good thing. He talked about how they used to have good commercials in the 90’s and it was good pub for the whole series. He doesn’t seem that concerned, but to me it seems like they are cutting back.
I have seen this sport through the eyes of a fanatic for many years. I know that over the years, I’ve seen sponsors with big names come and go. Danica had Argent Mortgage and then Motorola before she left with Go Daddy. I remember Pennzoil being around before they disappeared. But they did come back to Helio’s car last year at Indy for one race. Then there was 7-Eleven for years. Now they are gone.
It seems like I’ve never heard of the sponsors on cars now. Pippa Mann had Cyclops-Gear. It seemed like a neat idea, but I had never heard of them before they sponsored her for a few races. Now they’re gone. The e-cigs have been on a few cars, but they don’t sound familiar either. And I hate to say it, but I can’t tell you a thing about NTT Data. What happened to the beers? Where is Bud and Miller? I’d like to be able to support the sponsors of the drivers we like, but it’s hard to when you don’t even know what they do. I mean…what is Mi-Jack and where do I get one?
We will buy the NTT car next May and of course, we will all pull for Tony Kanaan in every race. But am I the only one that is not excited to cheer or the NTT Data car instead of the Target car of Tony Kanaan? I doubt it.