Lauren Kanaan was recently holding 3-month-old daughter Nina when a proud papa couldn’t help but make a confession.
“I know what’s going to happen when you grow up,” Tony Kanaan said, recalling the epiphany with his little girl. “I know you’re going to ask me for everything and I’m going to say yes.”
The Kanaans laughed about how their fourth child has Daddy wrapped around her little finger.
“She already has,” they both repeated.
Tony shrugged and added, “I might as well admit it. If you deny it, it’s worse. I might as well accept it and go for it.”
This holiday season, the Kanaans are concluding an eventful 2018 with a new family addition as well as moving from Miami into an Indianapolis home they had built. The 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner and 2004 Verizon IndyCar Series champion was racing at Portland when Nina was born on Aug. 31.
T.K. tweeted that day: “While I was in Portland @laurenbohlander and this little nugget decided to surprise me. Welcome Nina Bohlander Kanaan 7lbs 11 oz, 20.5 inches. Glad you have 3 brothers to protect you.”
Nina joins her three male siblings in the family — Leo, 11, Deco, 4, and Max, 2 — and they’re all tickled to have a girl.
“She is only three months old, and even though she is a girl and totally different than the boys, right now Tony is kind of the same dad he always is with babies, which is awesome,” Lauren said. “He’s really hands on and babies love him. All of our kids do. We’ll see (how he is), when she gets talking and walking and bats her eyes at Dad, we’ll find out.”
Tony laughed and foretold the future again.
“Whoever is going to show up (as a date) with her at home is going to have four guys waiting, so good luck,” he said.
“Poor girl,” Lauren said.
Tony and Lauren were introduced this month as honorary chairs for the sixth annual Rev presented by Fifth Third Bank to benefit the IU Health Foundation on Saturday, May 4, at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (shown above). Now that they live in Indianapolis, Tony and Lauren are excited to be more of a part of the community for events like Rev, which has drawn 3,000 each year and raised more than $2.5 million to benefit IU Health trauma and critical care programs around the state. Rev has become the traditional, must-attend kickoff event to month of May activities at IMS that include the INDYCAR Grand Prix and Indianapolis 500 races on the IndyCar Series schedule.
Tony is preparing for his second season with AJ Foyt Racing, and the move from Miami enables him to be at the team’s shop in Speedway, Indiana, on a daily basis. The more time he previously spent away from family, the more they considered relocating to Indianapolis. It also made sense to move before all the children were rooted in school.
Kanaan returns next season to build on a racing legacy of 360 career starts, including a record 300 consecutive races.
He especially looks forward to being able to spend more time at home with his wife and children.
“It’s an awesome feeling,” Tony said. “Honestly, people keep saying, ‘You guys finally got the girl.’ We wanted to have another kid, it wasn’t about the girl, but I’m really glad that it was. I don’t think I would have realized if it was another boy how great it really is to have a girl at home.”
Lauren is ecstatic after being surrounded by boys for so long.
“I’ve got to get somebody on my team,” she said. “I would always joke, ‘All those boys, and you don’t know the half of it. We have two dogs and even those are boys.’ I was at a serious deficit. She’s on my side. Team Mom.”