Kanaan: I'm Scared When I'm Not In Control

Tony Kanaan drives 240 miles per hour, but he has several fears. Flying is one of them

The DA Show
August 08, 2018 - 11:09 am

USA Today Images

Drivers Tony Kanaan and Matheus Leist dropped by CBS Sports Radio on Wednesday to discuss, among other topics, racing, their careers, and the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Aug. 19.

They also discussed their fears – not on the track, but in life. And yes, they have a few.

“It’s funny because people think that just because we drive at 240 miles an hour, we don’t get scared about anything else,” Kanaan said in studio on The DA Show. “That doesn’t apply. I’m scared of the dark. I’m scared of my wife when she’s mad. That is a fact. And funny enough – and Matheus knows this – I’m actually scared of flying. And that’s what I do the most.”

There are more crashes in racing than flying, of course, but there’s a key difference between the two.

“I don’t get extremely nervous,” said Kanaan, the 2013 Indy 500 champion. “Over the years, with all the anticipation before a big race, you learn how to deal with your anxiety. I just try to listen to music or watch a movie. But I’m nervous when we take off, I’m nervous when (there’s turbulence). Yesterday, we’re flying into New York and it was raining a lot and it was bumpy. I think as a race car driver, I’m afraid of things that I have no control (over). We have this thing – you control your own destiny, you control when you’re driving. So I think it’s more a control-freak thing that scares me, not to be in control.”

Leist, meanwhile, doesn’t have many fears.

“I’m scared of heights probably, but I’m okay,” he said. “When I fly, I’m actually okay. I’m not that bad. But when I’m in a high apartment or something, yeah.”

DA isn’t a fan of heights, either, which makes sky-diving a no-go.

“I would never do that,” Kanaan said. “It goes back to the control thing. Before you sky-dive by yourself, you have to do it with somebody else. What if the dude forgets to pull the thing? I don’t know.”