IRL: Homestead: Michael Andretti, Tony Kanaan preview

Andretti, Kanaan set for IRL Season Opener at Homestead-Miami Speedway. INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (February 25, 2003) -- After three hectic months of preparation, Andretti Green Racing's (AGR) Team 7-Eleven, along with drivers Michael Andretti and...

Andretti, Kanaan set for IRL Season Opener at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (February 25, 2003) -- After three hectic months of preparation, Andretti Green Racing's (AGR) Team 7-Eleven, along with drivers Michael Andretti and Tony Kanaan, will have their first opportunity to see how far they have come in a short period of time, when the 2003 Indy Racing League IndyCar season kicks off at Homestead-Miami Speedway this coming weekend.

AGR owner and chief executive officer Andretti, whose entry in the Homestead event also marks the first of four races he will contend before retiring from competition, believes that following weeks of work and hundreds of miles of testing, it is now time to evaluate the teams' progress in a competitive setting.

"After all the work that we have done over the past few months, I'm glad to see that the season opener is just around the corner," says Andretti, "Everyone at Andretti Green Racing has worked so hard to get us to this point and now we get the chance to see how well we've done our jobs. I'm really looking forward to this race. It's my first one as a team owner and I would really like to see one of our cars on the podium. As a driver I'd like to win the race for Team 7-Eleven, but I'll be just as happy if Tony or Dario (Franchitti) win."

Kanaan, the 29 year-old Brazilian who joined Team 7-Eleven and Andretti Green Racing late last fall, would be more than happy to earn the win for his new boss.

"I really want to do well," says Kanaan. "Things at Team 7-Eleven have been coming together very nicely, we've had some good testing results and we're all working very well together. I'm going into the race expecting the best and I'm going to give it my best shot. I'm definitely excited to be racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It's my second IRL race (Kanaan's other appearance was at the Indianapolis 500 in 2002) and I'm very pleased to be able to go out there as a member of Andretti Green Racing. It's also my hometown race (Kanaan lives in the Miami area) and I want to give the fans something to cheer about."

Andretti Green Racing spent two days at Homestead-Miami Speedway in January and also participated in the IndyCar Series' open-test at the facility last week. While Andretti posted the fastest time of any competitor at the IndyCar Series test, AGR owner and president Kim Green, who oversees the company's competitive programs, was quick to point out that it is difficult to predict how AGR will fare in a race setting.

"We were pleased with how our test went in Homestead last week," he says. "But we certainly can't use those results to anticipate how well we will do in the race. The IndyCar Series will be a very competitive one in 2003 and while we are satisfied with what we learned in the pre-season, we certainly plan on going into the event expecting very different track conditions. We've done all we can at this point to ensure that we are as ready as we can be for the season opener. We are excited about getting the season underway and we are hopeful for a winning result." - - AGR -

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Tony Kanaan