LEXINGTON, OH – August 5, 2012 – KV Racing Technology driver Tony Kanaan drove a fantastic race to finish sixth in today’s caution free Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Rubens Barrichello and E. J. Viso placed 15th and 20th respectively.
Today’s race started on a dry, but “green” (very little rubber) track after heavy rain showers the night before and during the morning, which also delayed the morning pre-race warm-up.
Kanaan qualified the No. 11 GEICO | MOUSER ELECTRONICS – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone car, 19th, but started 18th because one of two penalties accessed to other drivers affected his starting position The team employed a three stop fuel strategy and came in early, on lap nine, dropping Kanaan to 21st. However, he was immediately on the move and had worked his way into 16th place when the leaders began to pit for the first time starting on lap 25. Having picked up some track position, Kanaan added in a sensational three-car pass and vaulted into fourth place. He pitted for the second time on lap 33, dropping back to 19th, but once again fought his way back and was in seventh place when the leaders started making their second round of stops. Kanaan made his third and final stop on lap 58, but had picked up so much track position that when he rejoined the contest he was firmly in eighth place and picked up two more spots when other cars had to pit for fuel.
“I am very happy with today’s result,” Kanaan said. “The car was very good in the race. We went with a three stop strategy and despite no yellow flags we made it work. It was a very physical race with no cautions. Now we have to build on this over the last few races.”
Kanaan, who contested his 11th race at Mid-Ohio today, has finished in the top-10 seven times with a best showing of fourth also in 2007. The 37-year-old Brazilian has seven top-six finishes this season including three top-three showings (season-high second at Milwaukee and thirds at Iowa and Indy). Four of his top-six finishes have come on road/street circuits. In addition to today’s six place showing he has fourths at Toronto and Long Beach plus a sixth at Detroit. Kanaan earned 28 points today and is now seventh in the championship race with 307 points, 72 out of first and nine out of fifth.
Barrichello in the No. 8 BMC | EMBRASE – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone machine, contested his first race (tested here last week), on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn permanent road course. He qualified 15th, but started 13th after the penalties were accessed. Barrichello picked up three positions on the first lap and got as high as ninth before making his first pit stop on lap 25. During the second stint he was running in traffic and stuck between 14th and 17th place when the team decided to pit him early, but in the fuel window, to get him a clear track and back on red (alternate) tires. Barrichello rejoined the race in 20th position and started working his way back through the field getting as high as 10th before his final stop on lap 63. He came back out in 17th place and battled, but could only gain two more positions.
Barrichello has now earned five top-10 results in his first 12 IndyCar races with a season-high seventh on the oval at Iowa and a street/road course high eighth at Barber. He has also finished 11th twice, Toronto and Indy where he won the Chase Rookie of the Year Award. The 40-year-old Brazilian earned 15 points today and is 17th in the championship standings with 215 points.
Viso, in the No. 5 CITGO | PDVSA – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone entry, qualified 20th and started 19th after the penalties. He used the same three-stop strategy as Kanaan, pitting on lap nine, however upon exiting the pits was hit with a drive through penalty for a pit speed violation. Unfortunately, even though he turned some of the fastest laps of the race and was actually able to pull away from runner-up Will Power, who was leading the contest at the time, because there were no caution flags, Viso was unable to regain the time he lost during the drive through penalty and ended toward the back of the field.
“I am pretty happy even though we didn’t get the result we wanted,” Viso said. “The car was decent. We had the pace of the front pack and with the strategy we had, without question, we could have finished in the top-seven or eight. I am happy for Tony (Kanaan) that he was able to make it to the front. We were pretty much racing together. Unfortunately, I was penalized for a pit speed violation and I got a drive through penalty. It was a tough race and without any yellow flags we never got the opportunity to recover the gap to the pack I was running with. I think we learned a lot this race, so in that way it was very useful and now it is on to the next one,”
Viso competed in his fifth event at Mid-Ohio today. He has a best starting position of eighth in 2010 and a best finish of 15th in 2009 and 2011. The 27-year-old Venezuelan earned 12 points today and is now 20th in the standings with 198 points on the strength of three top-10 finishes including a season-high fifth at Milwaukee and a road/street course best eighth at St. Petersburg.
Source: KV Technology Racing