LONG POND, PA - KV Racing Technology drivers Tony Kanaan and Simona De Silvestro qualified fifth and 10th respectively for tomorrow's Pocono IndyCar 400 at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.
He went out 19th of the 24drivers to make an attempt and posted a two-lap average of 219.625 mph putting him in the middle of row No. 2. "I think I came up to speed too quickly," Kanaan said. "My fault. The Sunoco car is pretty good this weekend, so we're going for the Triple Crown. I'm excited to be here at Pocono; it's my first time. It's nice to see how many race car fans we have in this part of the world. I'm glad you guys are here and we'll go for it tomorrow for sure."
De Silvestro also had a good day with a career-best oval qualifying effort in the No. 78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car. She posted an average lap speed of 218.590, the 10th fastest, but is expected to start ninth tomorrow, on the outside of row 3, as a result of an engine penalty to Scott Dixon.
The 24-year-old's best oval qualifying prior to today was earlier this season when she was 12th quickest at Texas Motor Speedway. After a frustrating couple of weeks, the Swiss native is happy to be back near the front of the field like she was early in the season.
Sim Pocono small "It was a really good qualifying effort for us," De Silvestro said. "I think we might have had a little bit more, but we can be pretty happy, especially when I look at where we started this weekend. We've been struggling on the ovals, especially the last two races, but so far the car's been awesome.
I'm pretty happy; the Nuclear Clean Air Energy car has been pretty quick. It's been a lot of hard work, but we took it step-by-step. Huge thanks to the team for that. We've really leaned on Tony and tried to learn as much as possible, because he's really fast around here. I think we have a really strong race car, so hopefully we should be ok in the race. We're toward the front, which is where we were hoping for; we should be able to go forward from there."
Kanaan has now qualified in the top-10 five times in 11 events this season with a season-high starting position of fourth in Brazil.The 2013 Indianapolis 500 Champion will attempt to capture the second leg of the "Fuzzy's Triple Crown" tomorrow. The Triple Crown awards a $1 million prize to any driver who captures all three big oval races: the Indy 500, the Pocono IndyCar 400 and the race in Fontana. Kanaan is the only driver eligible to win the Triple Crown based on his victory at Indy. Any driver who wins two of the three races will earn $250,000.
Kanaan, 38, has earned five top-10 finishes including three podium performances and the victory at Indy in the first 10 races of the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series season. This is the third of four races the Brazilian will contest with the Sunoco "Turbo" livery. He finished third in his first two events at Texas and Iowa.
For De Silvestro, this is her third Top-10 start of the season having started third at the season-opener in St. Petersburg and eighth on the streets of Brazil. De Silvestro also has three top-10 finishes: sixth in St. Petersburg, ninth in Long Beach, and eighth in Brazil.
The Pocono IndyCar 400 will be broadcast live on Sunday, July 7 on ABC starting at 12:00