By Indy Racing League champ Tony Kanaan, all 3,305 laps of the IRL season. As Kanaan sat in his motor home last Saturday afternoon at Texas Motor Speedway, he put his feet up and pondered his place in motor sports history. "No one in NASCAR, F/1 or Indy cars has done what I can do tomorrow," said Kanaan. "It would be a dream." His fuel-injected fantasy came true when he completed 200 laps of the Chevy 500 on Sunday, becoming the first driver in a major series to complete every lap of a season. Kanaan, who clinched the IRL points title in the season's penultimate race, finished second on Sunday.
There were three reasons the 29-year-old Brazilian was able to pull off his unprecedented feat: He was lucky ("Nothing crazy, like a freak flat tire, happened to me," he says); he was powered by a superior Honda engine (Honda cars won 14 of the 16 IRL races this season); and he was masterful at avoiding accidents. The Iron Man also set IRL marks for the most top five finishes (15) and the most laps led (889). Though the competitiveness of open-wheel racing has never been the same since the sport split into two feuding bodies, IRL and CART, in 1996, Kanaan's season still ranks among the most spectacular ever. "I don't think anyone in any series has had a better year than me," says Kanaan. "It's almost been perfect."
Last week by Cincinnati wide receiver Chad Johnson to each member of Cleveland's starting secondary, a bottle of Pepto-Bismol and a handwritten note that read, "Hope this adds some color and relief to your week." The ploy backfired, however. Instead of making the Browns nauseated on Sunday, Johnson had fewer catches (three) than drops (four) as Cleveland won 34-17. "This is my most frustrating game ever," said Johnson. "I made the challenge. I didn't perform." Said Browns safety Earl Little, "I told him, 'Hey, I'm going to FedEx that stuff back to you, because you really need it.'"
From the diet of Clay Travis, a resident of the U.S. Virgin Islands, everything but pudding, as a protest against DirecTV's policy of not beaming its NFL games to the Caribbean. Noting that the phrase "The proof is in the pudding" is a frequent refrain in commissioner Paul Tagliabue's annual state of the league address, Travis, 25, vowed on Sept. 13 to survive on nothing but Hunt's SnackPacks--he prefers them to upscale brands because they don't require refrigeration--until he can watch his beloved Titans on TV. Says Travis, a Vanderbilt Law School grad who has lost about 10 pounds during his pudding-in, "These are two multibillion-dollar companies. I think they could find a way to bring a dish to the island."
October 24, 2004
After an autopsy, that former major leaguer Ken Caminiti, 41, died of a drug overdose, according to an ESPN report. (Official autopsy results were expected this week.) The cause of Caminiti's Oct. 10 death was originally said by his agent to be a heart attack. But the 1996 National League MVP reportedly spent his final hours in the Bronx with two alleged drug dealers. The Astros, one of Caminiti's former teams, honored him with a video memorial before Game 3 of the NLCS last Saturday.
To replace the volunteer ball boys and ball girls at the ATP Masters Series tournament in Madrid, 25 female models who were paid $1,100 each. The presence of the models, who were outfitted by Hugo Boss, prompted recently retired Goran Ivanisevic to say, "Maybe I should ask for a wild card. But I wouldn't be able to play. I would just want to take [telephone] numbers."
His candidacy for the office of President of the United States, ThunderBug, the Tampa Bay Lightning mascot. With the hockey season on hold, ThunderBug decided last week to pass his time by embarking on a campaign tour of radio and TV stations. His platform: "I will not lie to you, because I cannot talk."