TONY KANAAN "Here we are at our last street race of the year. There is always a lot of atmosphere and these races, and each one has its own personality. I really liked Houston my first two times here. It's true what they say about Texas ...
"Here we are at our last street race of the year. There is always a lot of atmosphere and these races, and each one has its own personality. I really liked Houston my first two times here. It's true what they say about Texas hospitality. They take good care of us down here. And the fans really appreciate a good show. When it rained down here two years ago, they stayed right where they were and watched us all the way. That's really something. I hope we can get back on track here and start a run of strong finishes. It's a tight track. A lot of 90-degree turns. That requires a lot of focus, an a lot of patience from the driver. It also demands a good setup so that we can get the most out of our engine. I think we'll be in good shape."
-- This is Kanaan's third visit to Houston in a Champ Car, his first with first-year Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing. He scored his second career podium finish when he was third here during his Rookie of the Year season of 1998 with Tasman Motorsports (later Forsythe Championship Racing). He qualified eighth and finished ninth here last year with the Forsythe team.
-- At Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis two weekends ago, Kanaan qualified sixth but was taken out of contention in the early going when he was blocked by a slower car.
-- In his 13 starts this season for Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing, Kanaan has four top-10 finishes and five top-10 qualifying efforts. His best finish was eighth, at both Nazareth and Road America. His top qualifying effort was third at Chicago.
-- Kanaan was involved in a final qualifying accident at Detroit in June left him with a broken left forearm that required surgery and four broken ribs on his left side. He was back in the car 33 days later but missed four races, three of which (Portland, Cleveland and Toronto) he was replaced by Bryan Herta.
-- Team owner Morris Nunn was technical director at Target/Chip Ganassi Racing during the last four CART championship runs by Jimmy Vasser (1996), Alex Zanardi (1997-98) and Juan Montoya (1999). He was on the pole here with Montoya last year, and finished second here with Zanardi in 1998.