IRL: Indy 500: AGR's Kanaan, Andretti day six practice report

Team 7-Eleven teammates Kanaan and Andretti make final preparations for run at Indianapolis Pole. INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 9, 2003) -- With five days of practice already in the books, Team 7-Eleven teammates Tony Kanaan and Michael Andretti made...

Team 7-Eleven teammates Kanaan and Andretti make final preparations for run at Indianapolis Pole.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 9, 2003) -- With five days of practice already in the books, Team 7-Eleven teammates Tony Kanaan and Michael Andretti made their final preparations for Indianapolis 500 pole qualifying on Friday, turning a combined 25 laps under the hottest weather of the month at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Kanaan logged the bulk of the track time -- 18 laps in all -- on his way to posting the eighth fastest lap of the session (230.1570 miles per hour, 39.1037 seconds) in the #11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone. Kanaan began making simulated qualifying runs shortly after the session started, checking his setups in air temperatures that ran into the mid-80s. Kanaan's ride is slated to be the 46th car to attempt to qualify, based on Friday evening's qualifying draw.

Andretti, who will make the final pole qualifying attempt of his career this weekend, turned seven laps in the #7 Team 7-Eleven machine. Andretti's best lap was clocked at 228.3080 miles per hour (39.4205 seconds), which ranked 15th at day's end. Like Kanaan, Andretti's team also took a conservative approach to the final full day of practice before qualifying using the warm, humid air to confirm setup data. Based on the qualifying draw, Andretti's machine is scheduled to be the 40th to make a qualifying run.

Robby Gordon, who teams with both Kanaan and Andretti at Andretti Green Racing (AGR), topped the speed chart on Friday at 231.3620 miles per hour (38.9000 seconds), and was followed by Scott Sharp (230.8290 miles per hour, 39.0094 seconds) and Scott Dixon (230.7140 miles per hour, 39.0094 seconds). Fellow AGR teammate Dan Wheldon slotted in fourth on Friday at 230.6690 miles per hour (39.0170 seconds), while Helio Castroneves ended the day with the fifth fastest lap (230.5520 miles per hour, 39.0368 seconds).

Pole qualifications for the Indianapolis 500 begin tomorrow at 12 p.m. EDT and will air live on ESPN before switching to ABC one hour later. The Indy 500, which will be held May 25, is slated to go green at 12 p.m. EDT and will air live on ABC Sports.

TONY KANAAN, #11 TEAM 7-ELEVEN DALLARA/HONDA/FIRESTONE:

"I feel confident. I think we can have a pretty strong run. We have a good car. We just didn't want to run too much today. We're saving it for tomorrow." <pre> Kanaan - Day 6 Kanaan -- Overall Position 8th Best Speed 231.0610 mph Speed 230.1570 mph Best Time 38.9508 sec Time 39.1037 sec Total Laps 209 Laps 18

KIM GREEN, PRESIDENT, ANDRETTI GREEN RACING:

"Obviously, this has been the warmest and breeziest day we've had this month. We came out and experimented in some different temperature conditions. Tomorrow is going to be all about where you draw and weather conditions. I do feel pretty confident we've got good race cars and I feel confident we can qualify up front. If we get the right conditions, I think we've got a really good shot at a very, very good qualifying result.

"My hat's off to the whole team. All four groups of mechanics, engineers and drivers have really worked very well together up to this point."

MICHAEL ANDRETTI, #7 TEAM 7-ELEVEN DALLARA/HONDA/FIRESTONE:

"I feel good about tomorrow, I think. I think we're right in there. I don't know quite where we are, but tomorrow is going to be a little bit of a crap-shoot with the weather and all that. But, I think we are right there with the best of them." </pre> Andretti - Day 6 Andretti - Overall Position 15th Best Speed 230.4160 mph Speed 228.3080 mph Best Time 39.0598 sec Time 39.4205 sec Total Laps 190 Laps 7

TONY COTMAN, TEAM MANAGER, TEAM 7-ELEVEN:

"We did one run this morning. Obviously, it was pretty warm today and the car was good, so we didn't want to touch it. The plan for Michael is to just hang out and run a little bit tomorrow morning in the pre-practice.

"We've got what we've got right now, and that is the nature of the beast, I think. It's all about whether you can get cloud cover and you're geared right and your car is right at the right time. At least 50 percent of it is out of your hands (in qualifying). But, we'll see what tomorrow brings."

- AGR -

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Robby Gordon , Scott Sharp , Helio Castroneves , Michael Andretti , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon