Team 7-Eleven's Kanaan Drives to Fifth-Place Finish in XM Satellite Radio Indy 300 Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan started fourth, struggled with the handling of his car but methodically moved back into the top five by the end of Saturday...
Team 7-Eleven's Kanaan Drives to Fifth-Place Finish in XM Satellite Radio Indy 300
Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan started fourth, struggled with the handling of his car but methodically moved back into the top five by the end of Saturday night's running of the XM Satellite Radio Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
From the initial laps of the race, Kanaan fought with the Team 7-Eleven car and made several wing and tire adjustments during the 200-lap event, but fell a lap off the pace in the early going. Just past the halfway point, Kanaan made a yellow-flag pit stop. Despite taking four new tires and fuel, the Team 7-Eleven crew got Kanaan out of the pits prior to the race's leader, earning Kanaan a wave around and putting him back on the lead lap. From that point, Kanaan picked his way around several cars and found his way back to the top five.
Tony Kanaan, #11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
"I wasn't having a good time out there tonight. We took a big risk and to be able to catch those guys in the future, that's the way it's going to have to be. I definitely know what not to do next time in the setup but I have to give credit to the Team 7-Eleven guys. I was a lap down and they put me back on the lead lap with a great pit stop. They know I can race so I just went for it. We've found the speed, now we just have to make it last."
Handling Issues Force Andretti to 20th Place Finish in XM Satellite Radio Indy 300
NYSE driver Marco Andretti suffered a disappointing start to the 2007 IndyCar Series season with a 20th-place finish at Saturday night's running of the XM Satellite Radio Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Starting fifth, Andretti fell off the pace during the beginning laps of the race. Andretti brought the NYSE car into the pits on several occasions, making multiple changes in an attempt to improve the car's handling. The decision was made to park the car after completing 53 laps.
Marco Andretti, #26 NYSE Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
"I'm sure there was something wrong with the NYSE car. It's nothing visual, so they took the car back. I really couldn't tell you what's wrong. It's incredible. It's a shame because the guys have worked so hard to close the gap."
Kyle Moyer, General Manager, Andretti Green Racing:
"We had an ill-handling car that was not drivable. It's a very unfortunate start to the season for the entire NYSE team. We'll spend the next week regrouping and getting ready for St. Petersburg."
George Klotz, Team Manager, #11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
"We made several adjustments throughout the race. We made tire adjustments and went up and down on the wings trying to get rid of the push. We ended up making the car decent. I can't say enough about the job the Team 7-Eleven guys did on the second-to-last pit stop to get us back on the lead lap. That was a big step in getting us a fifth-place finish. Tony did a great job just hanging on and racing to the finish. It's not what we were looking for but it's a good start to the season."
Patrick's Night Ends Early After Spin at Homestead
Motorola driver Danica Patrick appeared to be headed for a solid finish in her first outing with Andretti Green Racing Saturday night at Homestead-Miami Speedway, but had to settle for a 14th place finish following a lap 154 spin while attempting to enter the pit lane.
Patrick started the XM Satellite Radio Indy 300 from the 13th position and dropped to as low as 16th while fighting an understeering race car. However, with adjustments made on each successive pit stop, Patrick and the #7 Motorola machine started to come to life as the race neared its halfway point. She moved into the top 10 just before the 100-lap mark and then battled for the seventh position for the next 50 laps before setting up for the finish.
The spin took place as Patrick prepared to enter the pit lane for her final stop and led to slight contact with the inside retaining wall that damaged the left front suspension, ending her night 46 laps from the finish.
Danica Patrick, #7 Motorola Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
"I'm just so disappointed. I don't make mistakes like that and I can't believe it happened. I guess the law of averages should tell me that it's possible. When you're pushing 100 percent out there all the time, it is bound to catch up with you. I'm just glad it doesn't happen very often."
Kim Green, Race Strategist, #7 Motorola Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
"Danica is certainly a competitor, so she is disappointed for sure. She was trying hard; we knew the last pit stop was very critical for track position and we had a pretty fast car at that point. We made improvements to the car during the race and she used all the tools in the race car she had to try and balance the car. It wasn't a perfect car, but she did the best with what she had. All in all, we're all disappointed as much as Danica is. I thought we had a top-four or top-five car, so it would have been fun to have been in it at the end."
Canadian Club's Franchitti Finishes Seventh in XM Satellite Radio Indy 300
Canadian Club driver Dario Franchitti finished seventh at the XM Satellite Radio Indy 300 Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
After running as high as third, a fueling problem during the first pit stop sent Franchitti back in the field where the Canadian Club car did not run well. Franchitti struggled with the car throughout the night despite running in the top 10 the entire race. Franchitti's seventh place was the second-highest finish for Andretti Green Racing. Teammate Tony Kanaan took the checkered flag in fifth.
Dario Franchitti, #27 Canadian Club Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
"I am very disappointed. It was a very difficult night in the Canadian Club car. I started off and I felt like we were in very good shape. I moved my way to the front and then we had a little problem with the fuel cell in the first stint. That put us back in traffic a little bit and then we really struggled. As soon as there was a car in front of us we just didn't have the grip. We struggled all night with grip and both with understeer and oversteer. I just fought my way as hard as I could to the finish."
John Anderson, Team Manager, #27 Canadian Club Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
"We had a little bit of a hiccup midway through. I think we had something in the fuel receptacle and that put us back in the pack there. We just didn't seem to get a handle on where we were in the Canadian Club car. You take a look at the Ganassi cars and Dan (Wheldon) had control of the car. It is nice to get away with some points, but I'm a bit disappointed in where we are and we have to look on to next week."
The IndyCar Series returns to action next week at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on April 1.