CHAMPCAR/CART: Denver: Mo Nunn Racing Saturday qualifying report

Kanaan to start ninth at Shell Grand Prix of Denver. DENVER (Saturday, Aug. 31, 2002) -- Tony Kanaan and the ...

Kanaan to start ninth at Shell Grand Prix of Denver.

DENVER (Saturday, Aug. 31, 2002) -- Tony Kanaan and the #10 Pioneer-WorldCom/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Lola will start Sunday's inaugural Shell Grand Prix of Denver from the inside of the fifth row after final qualifying today. Kanaan, who had the third-fastest time in Friday's provisional qualifying session, improved upon his time with a lap today of 1 minute, 2.184 seconds (95.349 mph). But he slipped to eighth-fastest overall in today's session as all the top cars picked up speed today. Friday's provisional polesitter Adrian Fernandez was credited with a slower lap than Kanaan's today, but he locked up a top-two starting spot by virtue of his performance on Friday, thus bumping Kanaan back to ninth overall. The day started on a promising note when Kanaan was fastest in the morning practice session.

Bruno Junqueira earned the pole today with a lap of 1:01.708 (96.093 mph) and will be joined on the front row by Fernandez. Shinji Nakano, Fernandez's teammate, had the second-fastest time of the weekend but will have to start third after a lap of 1:01.808 (95.929 mph).

Race time Sunday is 1 p.m. local time (3 p.m. EDT) with a live broadcast set for SPEED Channel beginning with a 30-minute pre-race show at 2:30 p.m. EDT.

TONY KANAAN

"I don't know what happened, but that wasn't the same car I had this morning. We have to figure out what happened to our setup because we just couldn't seem to get any grip. I know there were Trans-Am cars and vintage cars on the track since this morning, but that shouldn't have affected just us. We'll have to look closely at what we did differently since this morning, which shouldn't have been that much. We were running on old tires this morning, so maybe that got us thinking a certain way and it didn't work out in our favor on sticker tires for the qualifying session. At least we're four spots ahead of where we started last week, and nine spots ahead of where we started the week before that. We ended up with top-four finishes both races, so what does that say about tomorrow? Seriously, it's going to be a battle of survival. The grip level is so low, you're going to see some really interesting things out there tomorrow. The track is very hard on brakes. It's going to be difficult for everybody to keep from flat-spotting their tires because of where the bumps are relative to some of the braking points. I think anybody who finishes this race tomorrow is going to be in great shape. I hope I'm one of them."

-mnr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Tony Kanaan , Shinji Nakano , Mo Nunn