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Originally published Thursday, May 9, 2013 at 3:32 PM

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Kanaan eager for return trip to Indianapolis

May has traditionally been one of Tony Kanaan's most miserable months on the track -- and one of his favorites away from it.

AP Sports Writer

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INDIANAPOLIS —

May has traditionally been one of Tony Kanaan's most miserable months on the track -- and one of his favorites away from it.

It's no different in 2013.

Four days after the Brazilian ran out of fuel and again fell out of contention in his hometown race at Sao Paulo, Kanaan was preparing to compete at his second favorite racing circuit, Indianapolis, a venue that has been as kind and as frustrating as any place he's ever competed.

"I'm thankful for being able to be back one more time, and I know how much the fans cheer for me there," the 38-year-old driver said of a city he considers his second home. "Every year, I believe it's the year, but honestly I've enjoyed going to Indy because of the way the crowd made me feel. I know I haven't won there, but they make me feel wanted and welcome and they make me feel like a winner."

Kanaan has certainly taken his share of victory laps.

He owns 15 career wins, 15 career poles, captured the 2004 IndyCar title and has been one of the best ambassadors for the sport. It's one reason Kanaan, a Chevy driver, was promoting next month's race at Belle Isle Park near Chevrolet headquarters in metro Detroit in the run-up to the Indianapolis 500. Belle Isle will be run June 1-2.

Kanaan had a chance to end his 41-race victory drought last weekend with the hometown fans roaring for him each time he passed the start-finish line in Brazil. When the fuel tank ran dry and Kanaan's car started slowing down, he started tapping his helmet in frustration.

On Thursday, Kanaan said he's still trying to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it before the 500 at Indy on May 26.

"We don' know yet and for sure we're investigating," Kanaan said. "Something went wrong, so I don't know what happened. The teams flew back on Monday, so maybe we'll know something (Friday) afternoon. I can promise you we'll figure it out."

But at least he gets to spend almost the entire month in one of his two favorite places -- Brazil and Indy.

"It's the best month of the year," he said.


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