Tony Kanaan and his ...
Tony Kanaan and his #55 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Reynard clocked the fastest practice time of the day for Saturday's Firestone Firehawk 500. Kanaan toured the 1.549-mile Twin Ring Motegi oval in 26.142 seconds (an average of 213.174 mph) in today's morning practice session. He followed that up with a run of 26.248 seconds (212.313 mph) this afternoon, a time that was beaten in the session only by Helio Castroneves at 26.192 seconds (212.767 mph). Castroneves' afternoon time was the second fastest of the day. Cristiano da Matta's 26.255-second (212.257-mph) lap this afternoon was the third-quickest of the day.
Kanaan's teammate Alex Zanardi and the #66 Pioneer-WorldCom/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Reynard recorded the ninth-fastest practice time of the day in the morning session. It was a 26.352-second (211.475-mph) lap. Zanardi was 12th in the afternoon session at 26.486 seconds (210.405 mph).
Practice continues at 9:30 a.m. local time Friday (8:30 p.m. EDT Thursday), followed by qualifying at 1:30 p.m. local time (12:30 a.m. EDT) Friday. Race time is 12:30 p.m. local time Saturday (11:30 p.m. EDT Friday) with a tape-delayed broadcast set for ABC-TV at 1 p.m. EDT Saturday.
"I had a good car right out of the box today, which was pretty obvious. We had a great car here last year and we basically started with that same setup. I've got to say Honda did a good job getting us ready for this race. They tested at Nazareth after that race two weeks ago and learned some things that are definitely helping us out this weekend. There's certainly a lot of pressure to get a Honda win here. Every Honda driver wants to be the one to win this race for them. There are nine of us who all feel that way, and we all think we're great drivers. So it will be a real dogfight, especially because all the drivers for the other manufacturers want to keep us from doing it. I like that kind of challenge. And it definitely feels great to get off to the kind of start we did this weekend."