Tony Kanaan and the ...
Tony Kanaan and the #10 Pioneer-WorldCom/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Lola finished eighth in today's Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland on the 2.1-mile temporary road course around the Burke Lakefront Airport near downtown. Kanaan started sixth and picked up a position on the very first lap. He moved up to fourth when polesitter and race leader Cristiano da Matta went out with a mechanical problem on Lap 21. Kanaan made his first scheduled pit stop on Lap 27 and fell back to seventh place with three cars that were out of pit sequence ahead of him. His second scheduled stop came on Lap 54 and he quickly fell back to eighth as several cars were able to get past him over the next 13 laps as he was fighting an ill-handling car and tires that were coming up to optimum temperature. Kanaan moved up to fourth by his third scheduled pit stop on Lap 74 but re-emerged in 11th as several cars, by now, had worked their way out of sequence and were sitting in front of him. He got back as high as seventh by his final scheduled pit stop on Lap 97, and held that position until Tora Takagi got by him on Lap 107 and dropped him back to his final finishing position of eighth. It was the third eighth-place finish in the last four races for Kanaan, the others coming at Portland and Chicago.
Patrick Carpentier earned his second career victory today, finishing well ahead of runner-up Michael Andretti and the third-place-finishing Paul Tracy. Da Matta's DNF ended his record-tying streak of four consecutive race wins.
The CART FedEx Championship Series takes a weekend off before resuming on the streets of Vancouver, B.C., for the Molson Indy Vancouver July 26-28.
"I might have said this a few races ago, but today I mean it when I say this was probably the most difficult race of my life. It was a long, long day. The weather was hot and just a little bit humid. My car just wasn't where I needed it to be to let me to go fast comfortably. So I drove every lap today like it was a qualifying lap. At least I tried to and learned the painful lesson that it's just not possible to do 115 laps like that under these conditions, with a car that is less than perfect. I'd get 10 to 12 good laps in, do a good job of gaining ground and keeping other people behind me, and then all of a sudden I put a wheel off and somebody gets by me. That happened too many times today. It's embarrassing, for one thing. We struggled with the car during warm-up this morning and made some changes for the race. It was better, but just not where we needed it to be. Oh well. What are you going to do, other than learn another lesson and move on to the next one. I had a lot of fun in the middle part of the race racing Jimmy (Vasser). That's the way racing should be. It's two guys doing it fair and square. I made a little mistake when Tora (Takagi) got by me at the end. I missed the chicane. It'll be good to have a weekend off so we can sort out all that we have done the last six races and come back fresh at Vancouver. Plus, we can sure use the rest!"