CHAMPCAR/CART: Elkhart Lake: Mo Nunn Racing race report

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Sunday, Aug. 18, 2002) -- Tony Kanaan and the ...

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Sunday, Aug. 18, 2002) -- Tony Kanaan and the #10 Pioneer-WorldCom/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Lola charged from the 18th and final starting grid position to a fourth-place finish in today's Grand Prix of Road America. He moved from 18th to 13th as the race went green, but was called by CART officials for passing three cars before the start-finish line and was moved back to 16th. He gradually picked off car after car and got as high as 10th by Lap 14 around the 4-mile permanent road course. Kanaan pitted for the first of four mandatory pit stops on that lap and fell back to 13th, but was back to 10th by Lap 19. He was ninth when he pitted for the second time on Lap 26 and remained in that position. Kanaan continued his gradual climb up the ladder, sitting in fifth when he pitted for the third time on Lap 38, and he re-emerged in eighth. By Lap 42, Kanaan was back in fifth, and then up to fourth when the car of Dario Franchitti in front of him caught fire and retired on Lap 39. He stayed there the rest of the way, including through the final round of pit stops with the leaders under caution on Lap 50. It was Kanaan's best finish since taking third at Vancouver on July 28.

Cristiano da Matta was today's winner, beating runner-up Alex Tagliani and third-place-finishing Bruno Junqueira across the finish line.

Next up on the 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series schedule is a first-time Champ Car event - the Molson Indy Montreal next weekend (Aug. 24-25) at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

TONY KANAAN QUOTES

"This is the crazy thing about racing. You're down one day and right back up there the next. Unfortunately, it works the other way around, too. But this almost feels like a win to me and the guys. We struggled all weekend long with problem after problem. I just told them that if they gave me a good car, I'd do the job. So here we are ... job done, as far as I'm concerned. This is what happens when you don't give up. The car can break as many times as you want, but we'll never give up. The guys bet me that I couldn't get five cars on the first lap, but I did just that. Unfortunately, they made me go back behind Michel (Jourdain) because I got him before the start-finish line. He missed a gear, so I couldn't afford to wait for him and had to do what I had to do. Unfortunately, CART didn't see it that way. Oh well. I also had to apologize to Michael (Andretti) for hitting him on the first lap. I got inside of him and bounced off the curb and hit him. I felt really bad. He said it was alright but that he'll get me the next time. He was joking, of course, but I'll have that to deal with later. I've really got to say thanks to the guys. It was a very frustrating weekend and the tension was pretty high, if you can imagine. But we almost got a podium out of it. We definitely have some momentum as we got to Montreal next week. Let's go racing!"

-mnr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Alex Tagliani , Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Gilles Villeneuve , Cristiano da Matta , Mo Nunn
Teams HART