TONY KANAAN â€œThis is always one of the funnest races of the year. Iâ€™m especially looking forward to getting back into the race car after finishing up strong in testing at Laguna Seca (Aug. 24-25). It was pretty tough going for us at...
“This is always one of the funnest races of the year. I’m especially looking forward to getting back into the race car after finishing up strong in testing at Laguna Seca (Aug. 24-25). It was pretty tough going for us at Mid-Ohio and Road America. It was a heavy duty character builder for our whole team. We were hanging our heads after those two races. So it was good to get back in a groove at Laguna. We learned some more things about our car, so I’m anxious to see how it responds at Vancouver. It’s going to be a bittersweet weekend in Vancouver for us. This is Greg Moore’s home track. We think about him all the time. And I know he’ll be looking out for us, making sure we have a good time here, as usual. They are going to retire his number (99) before the race on Sunday. That’s very special. We will never forget him.”
This is the 25-year-old Kanaan’s third visit to Vancouver in a Champ Car. He was 18th here his Rookie of the Year season in 1998, and followed up with a ninth-place effort last year, driving for Forsythe Championship Racing (formerly Tasman Motorsports).
Kanaan continues his recovery from a qualifying accident at Detroit June 17, in which he broke his left forearm and four ribs on his left side. The arm injury required surgery. Two metal plates and 14 screws were inserted. They will remain there for the next year-and-a-half.
Two weekends ago at Road America, Kanaan fought his way back to an eighth-place finish after starting 17th. He was running sixth 10 laps from the finish when his #55 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Mercedes-Benz Reynard developed an intermittent misfire that dropped him back in the order.
In 10 races with the first-year Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing team, Kanaan has four top-10 finishes, and four top-10 qualifying efforts, including a best of third on the starting grid at Chicago the last weekend in July.
Kanaan has a pair of runner-up finishes in Dayton Indy Lights Series starts here in 1996 and 1997, the latter helping to propel him to the series championship.
Team owner Morris Nunn, was technical director at Target/Chip Ganassi Racing during the last four CART championship seasons (Jimmy Vasser in 1996, Alex Zanardi in 1997 and 1998, and Juan Montoya in 1999). He won here from the pole with Montoya last season, and started from the pole here with Zanardi in 1997 and 1998.