CHAMPCAR/CART: Kanaan Gold Coast race notes

Tony Kanaan ...

Tony Kanaan
#55 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Reynard
Round 20 of 21 on the 2001 CART FedEx Championship Series

Tony Kanaan and the #55 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Reynard finished 17th in today's Honda Indy 300 on the beachside streets of Surfers Paradise. Kanaan started 19th, fell back to 22nd after pitting for a splash of fuel on a Lap 1 yellow brought out by teammate's Casey Mears' accident, and worked his way up to 15th before pitting again under a Lap 25 yellow. He dropped back to 19th with that stop, held that position through the next round of pit stops on Lap 40, and picked up two spots before taking the checkered flag on Lap 65.

Mears and the #66 Pioneer-WorldCom/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Reynard lost control heading into the first corner of the race, contacted the outside wall head-on and could not continue. Mears injured his right index finger and was sent to Allamanda Hospital in Southport for x-rays. Cristiano da Matta took the victory today, his second of the season. Michael Andretti was second with Alex Tagliani third. Gil de Ferran finished fourth, one spot ahead of Kenny Brack, to clinch the series drivers championship for the second year in a row.

The 2001 CART FedEx Championship Series season concludes next weekend with the 500-miler at high-banked California Speedway tri-oval in Fontana, Calif.

TONY KANAAN
"It was a long day, but at least I won another bike from Cristiano (da Matta in a season-long bet in which whenever one of them wins a race, he buys the other a bicycle). That's not exactly a trophy, but I'll have to say I earned it. I had to drive like every lap was a qualifying lap just to keep up today. We didn't have the best car out there, by any means. We gambled every time we had a chance because we started so far back, but there weren't many chances to gamble today. Usually, there are a lot of yellows in this race, but, sure enough they didn't happen. They always seem to happen when we start up front and run a strategy with the leaders. I can't figure out why that seems to be, but we'll get a race that goes our way one of these days. Anyway, I'm glad to get out of here in one piece. We'll have a chance to let it all hang out next week in Fontana."

-MNR-

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