TONY KANAAN "I'm ready to go for a road course run. Everything went well, physically, on the ovals at Michigan and Chicago. Now, our bad luck during those races is a whole other story I'd rather forget about and move on. I spent part of...
"I'm ready to go for a road course run. Everything went well, physically, on the ovals at Michigan and Chicago. Now, our bad luck during those races is a whole other story I'd rather forget about and move on. I spent part of two days testing on the road course at Sebring last week (Thursday and Friday) to see how my arm works. I felt great. I'm still not 100 percent, but I'm getting closer and closer all the time. This Mid-Ohio and Elkhart Lake swing will be the true test. They're a couple of demanding road courses, but they're the kind of tracks I like the best. We tested really well at Mid-Ohio back in the springtime, so I'm really looking forward to this weekend. I qualified well (fourth in 1999) and finished pretty well (eighth in 1998) here my first two seasons, when it was the home track for the team I was driving for (Forsythe Championship Group .... formerly Tasman Motorsports), so I've always liked this place. As a team this year, we seem to be creeping up on our first great finish. I hope it's finally going to come this weekend."
-- Kanaan is back for his third event -- his first on a road course -- since being sidelined for three races with a broken left forearm and four cracked ribs in a June 17th qualifying accident at Detroit. Mechanical maladies put him out prematurely at his first two events back from injury -- both on ovals -- the July 23 Michigan 500 (water temperature problems) and the July 30 Target Grand Prix of Chicago (gearbox).
-- Kanaan qualified a season-high third at Chicago two weekends ago and was running third when the gearbox trouble ended his day some 70 laps from the finish.
-- This weekend marks Kanaan's third appearance at Mid-Ohio in a Champ Car. He qualified 18th and finished eighth here in his Rookie of the Year season of 1998, and he qualified fourth and finished 23rd here last year, both for nearby Hilliard, Ohio-based Forsythe Championship Racing (formerly Tasman Motorsports).
-- Kanaan underwent surgery for his broken left forearm at Detroit. Two metal plates and 14 screws were used to repair the injury. They will be removed at a later date.
-- In 47 career Champ Car starts, Kanaan, the 1998 series Rookie of the Year, has one win (Michigan in 1999), one pole (Long Beach in 1999), and three podium finishes in all. (Laguna Seca and Houston in 1998 to go with last year's Michigan event). He also started on the front row at Laguna Seca in 1999.
-- Team owner Morris Nunn was technical director at Target/Chip Ganassi Racing during the last four CART FedEx Championship Series championships -- Juan Montoya last year, Alex Zanardi in 1998 and 1999, and Jimmy Vasser in 1996. He's won three of the last four Mid-Ohio events (with Zanardi in 1996 and ''97, and with Montoya last year).