Alex Zanardi and the ...
Alex Zanardi and the #66 Pioneer-WorldCom/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Reynard will start eighth in Saturday's Firestone Firehawk 500 at Twin Ring Motegi. Zanardi posted a fast lap of 26.088 seconds (213.615 mph) over the 1.549-mile oval. It was his second-best qualifying effort of the season. He qualified sixth at Texas Motor Speedway last month for a race that was subsequently postponed. Zanardi was the second of 25 cars to make qualifying runs today.
Zanardi's teammate Tony Kanaan and the #55 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Reynard qualified fourth today. Kanaan's best lap was a 26.022-second (214.167-mph) effort that netted him his second-best qualifying effort of the year. Kanaan started third at the Long Beach Grand Prix in early April.
The top four qualifiers today are powered by Honda. Just ahead of Kanaan are polesitter Helio Castroneves at 25.849 seconds (215.591 mph), Dario Franchitti at 25.991 seconds (214.413 mph) and defending series champion Gil de Ferran at 25.991 seconds (214.386 mph).
Race time Saturday is 12:30 p.m. local time (11:30 p.m. EDT Friday) with a tape-delayed broadcast set for ABC-TV at 1 p.m. EDT Saturday. The race can be followed live via the CART Radio Network and the live timing and scoring system at www.cart.com.
"I can't say I'm super happy with my qualifying run because I know there was something more in my car. On my second qualifying lap, there was a little problem with my car. Nothing dramatic, but it made it not worth taking the last corner on my second lap like I did the first time through there. That' s a shame because the guys did a great job to give me a great race car. I think we should get a good result tomorrow for Pioneer and WorldCom. It's nice to see we are making some progress. I'll never be totally happy until I am P1 on race day night. We'll see if we can make that happen tomorrow."