Tony Kanaan ...
#10 Pioneer-WorldCom/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Reynard
Bridgestone Potenza 500 - Friday, April 26, 2002
Twin Ring Motegi - Motegi-machi, Haga-gun, Japan - 1.5-Mile Oval
Round 3 of 20 on the 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series
Tony Kanaan and the #10 Pioneer-WorldCom/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Reynard qualified second for Saturday's Bridgestone Potenza 500. He turned a fast lap of 26.051 seconds (213.919 mph) around the 1.5-mile Twin Ring Motegi oval in this afternoon's single-car qualifying session. It was the fastest lap by a Honda-powered Champ Car and was Kanaan's best qualifying effort since earning the pole for last year's CART FedEx Championship Series event in Chicago. It earned him his fourth career front-row start. He was also on the pole at Long Beach in 1999, and qualified second at Laguna Seca later that year. Kanaan will be chasing his first victory Saturday since his win at the 1999 U.S. 500 at Michigan Speedway. He finished third here last year for Mo Nunn Racing's first-ever podium from the fifth starting spot.
Bruno Junqueira was the only driver in the 20-car field to better Kanaan's qualifying lap today with an effort of 25.907 seconds (215.108 mph) in his Toyota-powered Lola. It was Junqueira's first pole of the season. Paul Tracy, driving a Honda-powered Lola for the first time this weekend after switching from the Reynard chassis, qualified third in 26.059 seconds (213.853 mph).
Race time Saturday is 12:30 p.m. local time (11:30 p.m. EDT Friday). Speed Channel's tape-delayed race broadcast is set for 12:30 p.m. EDT Saturday, preceded immediately by a 30-minute pre-race show at noon.
Live timing and scoring and a live audio feed are available at race time via the Internet at www.cart.com.
"We worked hard the last two days to build on the momentum we had here last year and the Pioneer-WorldCom car worked very hard for us. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves here to do a good job for Pioneer and for Honda, and we did the very best we could in qualifying. Unfortunately, my Brazilian friend (Junqueira) had a better lap today. But, overall, I'm very pleased with the race car I have. Now we have to take all that pressure and put it to work for us in getting the victory tomorrow. We're at a great starting point on the front row, no doubt about that. The first thing we must do is to finish the race, which we haven't been able to do at the first two races this season. So, that will be very important. I think you can expect to see very close racing here tomorrow. You won't see a lot of passing at the start because you have 20 cars that qualified all within a second of each other. But once the faster cars start catching lapped traffic, that's when the action will start. It's a long race ... 201 laps. We're going to make five scheduled pit stops. We don't do that anywhere else except for the superspeedways. And with these wings that we are running, now, you're going to see some really good, side-by-side racing. Before, with the wings we had to run with here, it might have been exciting racing for the fans, but it wasn't fun for us. Now, it's going to be exciting for the fans and fun for us."