INDIANAPOLIS— Sleek. Black. Fast. So describes the No. 14 Big Machine Vodka Chevrolet that Tony Kanaan will drive in his final two races of the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES as his #TKLastLap tour on the oval tracks winds down.
Big Machine Vodka, a longtime sponsor of the 2013 Indianapolis 500 champion, will be the primary sponsor of the car. The bold, bright chrome Big Machine logo makes this Black Beauty sparkle which fans will see in both Bommarito Automotive Group 500 races this weekend.
“Scott Borchetta and his brother Mark have been with me since 2014 and they’ve
always been solid, so to me, it’s an honor that we could make this deal work and have my last races of the year with their livery,” Kanaan said.
Scott Borchetta, the music industry mogul who acquired Tenn South Distillery in 2015 and joined forces with Tenn South founder and Chief Distiller Clayton Cutler, also signed as an associate sponsor of Kanaan in this year’s Indy 500.
“The name Tony Kanaan is synonymous with winning and that aligns with the essence, pride and result that we carry through all things Big Machine” says Big Machine Label Group President & CEO Scott Borchetta. “We’re very proud to be representing Tony this weekend for TK’s Last Lap.”
As the Big Machine Vodka Chevrolet was getting some final tweaks in the race shop for this weekend, Kanaan looked on in admiration.
“The car looks awesome,” Kanaan remarked of the new livery, adding, “I think it would have looked even better if it were still a night race.”
Originally the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 was scheduled to run on a Saturday night before the Covid-19 pandemic forced the rearrangement of this year’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES schedule. One night race has now turned into two afternoon races which will be broadcast on NBCSN on Saturday and Sunday starting at 3 p.m. ET.
“I saw the design from day one and was part of it, so it’s kind of like having a child,” Kanaan revealed. “And when you see it ready, and then having the diecast of that car which just became available last week, it’s pretty cool.
“It’s a neat story because when you talk about relationships, it’s always obviously business but when you can mix business with friendship -- and have a pretty cool thing like this going -- it becomes something we will talk about for years to come," Kanaan continued. "It’s not just a business transaction, it’s a bunch of friends that wanted to help. We had a cool idea that we’ve been brewing since last September which is when we came up with the #TKLastLap. Some things have changed a bit, but their deal is solid and they’re still around. And they said they will still be around as long as I race. And that is awesome.”
Kanaan has run four races to date this year. He finished 10th at the season opener at Texas Motor Speedway in June. In July, he dropped out in Race 1 at Iowa and finished 11th in Race 2. He placed 19th in last week’s Indy 500 after having to conserve fuel in the final stint but had been running in the top-10 for second half of the race.
This weekend Kanaan is looking forward to returning to World Wide Technology Raceway, the 1.25-mile oval located in Madison, Ill. which is east of St. Louis just across the Mississippi River.
“I’m excited to return to St. Louis this weekend after our podium there last year,” said Kanaan, who finished third behind Ed Carpenter and Takuma Sato. “The promoters at World Wide Technology Raceway have done a terrific job working with the local authorities to provide a race where fans could go and have an opportunity for entertainment in a safe and socially distanced environment and I’m really looking forward to see them at the track. When I announced the #TKLastLap in January of this year no one had an idea of what 2020 had in store for us, so being able to have fans at these last two races of my season is really special for me. I want to put on a good show for them and for the fans at home as well.”