INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – June 7, 2012 – KV Racing Technology drivers Tony Kanaan, Rubens Barrichello and E. J. Viso will contest just their second oval race of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season when they compete in the Firestone 550, June 8-9 on the 1.5-mile D-shaped Texas Motor Speedway oval in Ft. Worth, Texas.
Kanaan, in the No. 11 MOUSER ELECTRONICS | GEICO – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone machine, is coming off a sixth place showing last weekend in Detroit. The 37-year-old Brazilian will be making his 13th start at TMS where he has qualified in the top-10 a total eight times with a pole which he drew for race No. 2 last year (started second in 2008 and third in 2004 race No. 1). He has finished in the top-10 nine times including a remarkable seven top-five showings with a win in 2004 (second in 2003 race No. 1; 2004 race No. 2 and 2007). In his only other oval race this year, the Indy 500, Kanaan had qualified eighth and then drove an outstanding race, leading seven laps and eventually finishing third. Kanaan has earned three top-six finishes in the first six races this season. In addition to the sixth in Detroit and the third at Indy, he finished fourth at Long Beach. Kanaan currently sits ninth in the championship race with 141 points.
Barrichello, in the No. 8 BMC | EMBRASE – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone entry, is coming off a disappointing event in Detroit where a problem with the car ended his race after just 11 laps. The 40-year-old Brazilian, a veteran of 19 Formula One seasons, will be competing in just his second oval race and although he has tested at TMS it will be his first race on a 1.5-mile oval. In his only oval start, the Indianapolis 500, Barrichello started 10th and finished 11th winning the Chase Rookie of the Year honors. Barrichello, who has finished five of the six races this year, has three top-10 performances (Barber, eighth; Long Beach, ninth; Brazil, 10th) and is 14th in the championship standings with 112 points,
“Texas will be once again a new experience,” Barrichello said. “I must say that I liked Indy and although I know Texas is a completely different experience I hope it is a safe and competitive one on our side.”
Viso, driving the No. 5 CITGO | PDVSA – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone car, also had a tough race in Detroit. He qualified a team-high fifth and ran in fourth during the first stint. He dropped back after the first pit stop, but was sitting in eighth after the delay and restart when he was hit from behind by Marco Andretti. After getting his car restarted Viso finished 18th. The 27-year-old Venezuelan will be contesting his sixth race at TMS. In five previous visits he has a best qualifying position of 14th in 2010 and a best finished of seventh in race No. 1 last year (placed 10th in race No. 2). Viso, who has finished every race so far this season, has had two top-10 finishes (St. Petersburg, eighth and Brazil, 10th) and is 16th in the standings with 106 points.
“I am looking forward to going back to Texas,” Viso said. “It is a nice oval track. I am happy about the changes to the apron on pit out and I am also looking forward to the new aerodynamic level changes for the race.”