#55 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Mercedes-Benz Reynard Saturday, March 25, 2000 – Qualfying Notes/Quotes Grand Prix of Miami – Homestead Miami Speedway Round 1 of 20 on the 2000 CART FedEx Championship Series
Tony Kanaan will start 14th in Sunday’s season-opening Grand Prix of Miami after a pop-off valve problem plagued his qualifying run today in the #55 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Mercedes-Benz Reynard. He toured the 1.5-mile Homestead Miami Speedway oval in 26.486 seconds, an average of 204.153 mph despite the malfunction, which accounted for a significant loss of horsepower. Kanaan returned to his primary car for this morning’s practice and qualifying sessions. He was eighth-fastest in the practice session at 26.274 seconds (205.800 mph), bettering the 26.437 he posted in his backup car Friday aftenroon that was fastest of all competitors on opening day.
Crewmember Kenny Ferris, injured in a bizarre pit lane accident in Friday morning practice that also damaged Kanaan’s primary car, returned to action today and is expected to perform his responsibilities as jackman and ventman during pit stops in Sunday’s 225-mile race. Start time is 2 p.m. EST. Tape-delayed broadcast on ABC-TV is set for 4:30 p.m. EST. Team Penske’s Gil de Ferran qualified on the pole today in 25.942 seconds (208.434 mph).
TONY KANAAN – Obviously, we are very disappointed at how we ended up in qualifying, but it’s nobody’s fault. Something happened with the pop-off valve, which is very disappointing. Without (turbo) boost, we were way down on power. It think it probably cost us two-tenths of a second. But that’s life. We’ll cheer up. Tomorrow’s another day and we do know that we have a very good race car. The setup is perfect. I think tomorrow we’re going to have a heck of a race.
STEVE NEWEY (General Manager) – We were expecting to qualify a lot better, as you might imagine, but, all in all, the team’s been doing a great job all weekend. The guys really bounced back well after the accident yesterday morning. They really haven’t missed a beat. Kenny (Ferris) is going to be back in action, and that’s great news for everybody.”