IRL: Motegi: Tony Kanaan race report

MOTEGI, Japan (April 17, 2004) - Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan started third, moved into second in the first turn on the opening lap of the race and held on for a runner- up finish in the Bridgestone Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi in...

MOTEGI, Japan (April 17, 2004) - Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan started third, moved into second in the first turn on the opening lap of the race and held on for a runner- up finish in the Bridgestone Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi in Motegi, Japan.

Kanaan, who was looking for his second consecutive Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series victory, chased teammate and eventual winner Dan Wheldon for the majority of the 300-mile event, but never mounted a serious challenge, largely due to an aerodynamic problem caused by the loss of a Gurney flap on the right rear of the #11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone early on in the race.

Wheldon dominated the event, leading 192 of 200 laps for his first IndyCar Series win in the Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone. Kanaan was followed by Helio Castroneves, who finished third. Wheldon, Kanaan and Castroneves also hold down the top-three positions in the series point standings, in that order.

Saturday's performance gave Andretti Green Racing its second consecutive win and its first-ever "one-two" finish. AGR has led 383 of the last 400 laps run in IndyCar Series competition.

Round 4 of the 2004 IndyCar Series comes on May 30 with the 88th running of the Indianapolis 500. Practice for the "500" opens on May 9.

Tony Kanaan, #11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone:

"We found out after the race that we lost a Gurney flap on the right rear. I lost downforce on the 7-Eleven car part way through and then it made the car really, really loose. So, it wasn't my day. But, it was Andretti Green's day and it's awesome. I'm so happy for Dan, for him to get his first win. That's two wins in a row for the team. I am just one part of this team and I am going to be a part of this team for a long time, so I'm thrilled. Everyone at this team and at Honda has worked so hard for this and I'm glad we were able to have this kind of day."

Kim Green, President, Andretti Green Racing:

"This has been a fantastic team effort, and that means everybody at AGR and certainly at Honda. I think we've worked very, very hard for many years with Honda and have been starting to work even harder with them to make this happen. They build a fabulous product and for us to be able to score a one-two here with Dan and Tony is really unbelievable. This has just been a very, very good team effort, both here and back at the shop." - AGR -

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Kim Green , Jim Beam