Tony Kanaan and the ...
Tony Kanaan and the #10 Pioneer-WorldCom/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Lola finished third in today's Molson Indy Vancouver for his fifth career podium finish and the third-year team's second visit to the podium. Kanaan started sixth and immediately moved to fifth on the very first turn after getting a clean jump on Michael Andretti, who started fifth. Kanaan moved to fourth when Scott Dixon crashed out of the race while running fourth on Lap 10. Kanaan pitted for tires and fuel on Lap 32 and moved from fourth to sixth as Christian Fittipaldi beat him out of the pits and the car of Patrick Carpentier was still in front of him, running out of sequence. Kanaan got the spot back on Fittipaldi just four laps later when the leaders pitted under yellow and Kanaan re-emerged in fifth, with Carpentier still in front of him. Kanaan passed Carpentier on Lap 61 to take over fourth place, and moved up to second place when leader Paul Tracy, running out of sequence, pitted, and then-second-place Cristiano da Matta left the race with a mechanical failure. Kanaan fell back to third when he made his third and final pit stop for tires and fuel on Lap 68 as Tracy stayed out on track, and Kanaan stayed in third the rest of the way, holding off Michel Jordain in a vicious battle for the final podium spot during a Lap 95 restart after a red-flag period for a four-car accident four laps earlier.
The podium was Kanaan and the team's first since he finished third at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan in May of 2001. His previous best finish this season in nine starts is eighth. The third-place finish also capped a 1-2-3 sweep of the podium by engine manufacturer Honda, whose Dario Franchitti brought home the victory and his teammate Paul Tracy finished second.
After taking next weekend off, the 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series resumes Aug. 11 with the CART Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio, the first of four consecutive race weekends that also include Road America (Aug. 18), Montreal (Aug. 25) and Denver (Sept. 1).
TONY KANAAN QUOTES
"This is a great feeling, especially here in the hometown of my good friend Greg Moore. He had to have something to do about arranging this podium because we were three of his best friends when he was alive. I have to say hats off to the whole team, my engineer Iain (Watt), Morris (Nunn, team owner). We struggled in the warm-up session this morning, so this just goes to show you that when you expect the least, you get the most. I got a great start to get past Michael (Andretti), and then I did my best to keep up with the leaders. There was so much going on around me that I started to wonder if I was going to be next. On that last restart, there was so much pick-up on my tires that I knew the car was going to be a handful trying to stay in front of Michel (Jourdain). We went into the first turn fair and square, and all I could say was 'not today, buddy ... I'm going to the podium. It's third place or nothing.' It's been a tough year. We came in with a lot of expectations but we had a frustrating string of DNFs that really set us back in the points. Hey, I scored more points today (14) than I had all season until now. So maybe this is the start of something good. Now, let's go celebrate in Greg's honor."