IRL: Texas: AGR's Kanaan preview

Kanaan taking momentum and points lead to Texas Motor Speedway INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (June 3, 2003) -- Apparently, it takes more than one surgery and 23 days off to slow down Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan. The 28-year-old Brazilian entered...

Kanaan taking momentum and points lead to Texas Motor Speedway

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (June 3, 2003) -- Apparently, it takes more than one surgery and 23 days off to slow down Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan.

The 28-year-old Brazilian entered the April 13th running of the Indy Japan 300 with the Indy Racing League (IRL) IndyCar^Ù Series points lead and a ton of momentum, but left with injuries that included a broken right arm. Two days later, Kanaan underwent surgery and started on the tough road to recovery in preparation for the Indianapolis 500. While many may have doubted how strong he would be upon returning, few are questioning his status now as he heads to Texas Motor Speedway with the points lead following a third-place run at Indianapolis.

With Saturday night's race at Texas just a few days away, Kanaan welcomes the opportunity to take the green flag with the title of "IRL IndyCar^Ù Series Points Leader."

"On top of the points is where you want to be, so I'm happy we're there," said Kanaan. "It won't be easy to stay in that position all the way the rest of the year, but that will be our goal every race. You just have to go out and get the best finish you can every race. We have to look at it like, 'if you have a third-place car, then, don't try to make it a first-place car or you'll be the last-place finisher.' That's the way we have to look at it.

Kanaan's impressive start in 2003 is rooted in his qualifying effort. In four races this season, Kanaan has yet to start anywhere but the front row -- including a pair of pole-position starts at Miami and Phoenix. Kanaan went on to capture a win in the Phoenix event.

"We will be right in 7-Eleven's hometown, so I will have a ton of fans there," said Kanaan. "I would love to get a win for the whole team -- not just my Andretti Green Racing team, but my whole 7-Eleven team, too."

A win on Saturday would only add to the momentum that the team kept a tight grip on throughout Kanaan's rehabilitation, according to Andretti Green Racing president Kim Green.

"Certainly, our team had a great deal of momentum before Tony's injury in Japan and I think there may have been some outsiders that thought we could lose that momentum under the circumstances," said Green. "Obviously, based on our performance at Indianapolis, that wasn't the case. The team had a very good month and left with the points lead, so we're in a very good position heading into Texas."

- AGR -

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Kanaan , Kim Green