CHAMPCAR/CART: Kanaan Chicago qualifying notes

Tony Kanaan and his ...

Tony Kanaan and his #55 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Reynard qualified on the pole today for Sunday's Target Grand Prix. Kanaan toured the 1-mile Chicago Motor Speedway oval in 23.145 seconds (an average of 160.052 mph), securing his second career pole position, his first on an oval, and the first for second-year Mo Nunn Racing. Kanaan's first pole came at the 1999 Long Beach Grand Prix. His previous best qualifying effort this season was third at Long Beach. Last year here, Kanaan achieved his, and the team's, best qualifying run of the 2000 season, which placed him third on the starting grid. He ran in the top three for most of last year's race before retiring with gearbox trouble.

Mo Nunn Racing teammate Alex Zanardi and the #66 Pioneer-WorldCom/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Reynard will start fifth. Zanardi recorded a fast qualifying lap of 23.315 seconds (158.885 mph) to achieve his best starting spot of the season. His previous best qualifying effort was sixth at Texas Motor Speedway for a race that was subsequently postponed. Helio Castroneves will start alongside Kanaan on the front row after recording the second-fastest qualifying time of 23.148 seconds (160.031 mph). Adrian Fernandez was third, making it a Honda sweep of the top three qualifying positions with a run of 23.203 seconds (159.652 mph). Memo Gidley was fourth at 23.221 seconds (159.528 mph).

Race time Sunday is 3 p.m. CDT (4 p.m. EDT) with a live broadcast set for ABC-TV. The Sunday-morning warm-up show CART2DAY can be seen on ESPN2 at 11 a.m. EDT.

TONY KANAAN
"I feel so happy for Morris (Nunn) and the whole team. We got Morris his first podium finish (in Japan this season). We got Morris his first pole today. There's only one thing left, and I want to give that to him, too. We've been knocking on the door so hard lately and our day has finally come. It's an awesome feeling to have a good car and to be able to push as hard as you can. That was about as close to a perfect set-up as there could be for us, and I left nothing on the table. I gave it my all. I want to thank the guys for giving me a great car. Between my side and Alex's side, we came up with a good combination and we are in good position for the race on Sunday. I was really concerned that the rain would wash out the whole session and send us back to (gridding the field by) this morning's practice times. The key here is to have a very balanced car because it's such a tight oval, and that's what we have. I'm very much looking forward to the race. This place was good to us in qualifying and most of the race last year. Now we just have to finish the job."

-MNR

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Memo Gidley , Adrian Fernandez , Alex Zanardi , Tony Kanaan , Mo Nunn