Tony Kanaan and his ...
Tony Kanaan and his #55 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Reynard finished fifth in today's Miller Lite 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Kanaan started seventh, dropped back to eighth at the start, and fell back to ninth after the first round of pit stops that begin on Lap 28. He moved back to sixth place by the second round of pit stops under yellow on Lap 54 and re-emerged in seventh as Oriol Servia decided not to pit in sequence. Kanaan moved up to sixth when Servia finally did pit on Lap 65. And Kanaan moved to fifth in dramatic fashion when the car of Dario Franchitti, who was in fourth at the time, shot across the track in front of him and onto the grass. Kanaan had to maneuver quickly and just missed Franchitti's car.
The finishing position of Kanaan's teammate Alex Zanardi and the #66 Pioneer-WorldCom/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Reynard was in dispute immediately after the race as CART officials claimed Zanardi passed Christian Fittipaldi before the green flag flew on a Lap 76 restart. The move put Zanardi in ninth place, but CART officials did not score Zanardi's final two laps, relegating him to 19th position. Helio Castroneves was today's winner - his fourth victory of the season. Gil de Ferran finished second, with Paul Carpentier in third.
The next stop on the 2001 CART FedEx Championship Series - Round 14 of 21 on the season - is the Motorola 220 next weekend (August 19) at Elkhart Lake, Wis.
"To begin with, we chose a setup that was very conservative. Something easy to drive that would get us safely throught the whole race. It turns out that it was a bit too conservative. The car was great through the complex part of the track. I was catching people all day long. But those are the places that are tough to pass. And I didn't have enough on the straightaways to pass anybody. I had some close calls. The one with Dario was really close. I don't know how I got through it. You know the movie 'Days of Thunder' where the crew chief tells Tom Cruise to accelerate when you see smoke? Well, that's what I did. Sometimes you just have to put your fate in God's hands and hope for the best. He was definitely looking out for me on that one. I can't say I'm really happy with fifth place, but I'm pleased. One big thing we accomplished today is that we're now in 11th place in the points and that puts us, for sure, in the fast (qualifying) group at Elkhart (Lake, next weekend)."