CHAMPCAR/CART: Kanaan/Zanardi Cleveland preview



**This weekend marks Kanaan's 62nd career Champ Car start and his 23rd with Mo Nunn Racing. In his Champ Car career, he has one win (1999 U.S. 500), one pole (1999 Long Beach Grand Prix), four podium finishes, eight top-fives, and 30 top-10s.

**Kanaan is currently 13th in the CART FedEx Championship Series driver point standings with 36. He's coming off a disappointing pair of weekends at Detroit and Portland. At Detroit, he sustained a mild concussion during Saturday qualifying that kept him out of Sunday's race. At Portland, he got caught up in an opening-lap accident that sidelined him for the remainder of the day.

**Prior to the Detroit event two weekends ago, Kanaan had a streak of three consecutive races in which he led laps - on the small short ovals at Nazareth, Twin Ring Motegi and Milwaukee. He totaled 112 laps led during that span, and earned his first podium finish of the season and for Mo Nunn Racing at Motegi with a third-place finish.

**Last year here at Burke Lakefront Airport, Bryan Herta substituted for the then-injured Kanaan (broken left forearm, four broken ribs sustained in a qualifying accident at Detroit two races prior), driving to a ninth-place finish after qualifying seventh.

**In 19 career Champ Car starts on temporary street circuits, Kanaan has one pole (Long Beach 1999), one podium finish (third at Houston in 1998) and 10 top-10s.


"Cleveland always been good to me, but so have Detroit and Portland, and we' re coming off of a couple of tough weekends at those places. So I'm a little hesitant to make any bold predictions. We know Cleveland is a very driver-friendly layout. I love racing there more than most places. We just want to show up this time and get it right. We're not expecting miracles, but with the talent we have on this team, we wouldn't be surprised if it all came together this weekend. We've been struggling and even looked like we were a bit lost the last two weekends. There definitely is a problem we are searching for. We're working very hard to find it and solve it, and once we do, look out. The good thing is we're still in the first half of the season. There is a lot of racing left. Maybe soon we will totally forget what's been going on the last two weekends."


**This weekend marks Zanardi's 59th career Champ Car start and his eighth with Mo Nunn Racing, which he joined this past offseason after a two-year hiatus from the series. He has 15 career wins, 28 podium finishes, 34 top-fives, and 38 top-10s.

**Zanardi had the misfortune of having to make early exits from the last two events at Detroit (June 17) and Portland (June 24) as a result of accidents. He was out on Lap 4 at Detroit, and Lap 1 at Portland.

**Earlier this month at the Milwaukee Mile, Zanardi brought home his second consecutive points-producing finish with an 11th-place effort on the historic 1-mile oval there.

**Zanardi's best finish this season was seventh place at Japan's Twin Ring Motegi last month. He appeared headed for a podium finish before unexpectedly running out of fuel some 15 laps from the checkered flag.

**Two-time series champion Zanardi is a two-time winner at Burke Lakefront Airport and finished second in his only other appearance. He qualified second and finished second enroute to winning the Rookie of the Year title in 1996 while at Target/Chip Ganassi Racing. He won from the pole in 1997 enroute to his first of back-to-back series championships. And he won from the third spot on the starting grid in 1998. Morris Nunn was Zanardi's engineer during that three-year run from 1996-98.

**In 20 career Champ Car starts on temporary street circuits, Zanardi has seven wins, 11 podium finishes and 14 top-5s. He also has qualified on the pole four times, and on the front row 11 times altogether.


"Cleveland is my favorite circuit in the United States. I like Cleveland a lot and I have great memories of racing in Cleveland. Right now it's not a very good period we are going through. But both Morris and I had a lot of success in Cleveland. We always had a car that worked very, very well there. We still have the notes of what we did there in the past. Hopefully, this will help us get a better setup and make our car work because it hasn't been working well lately. There's no magic in this business. It's all about making your car work. Max (Papis) proved that point in Portland. I'm not looking to be the hero in Cleveland, although I' d love to see that happen. I want to see myself where I know I can be. I think Cleveland is a circuit that seems to be designed for our cars."


**Team owner Morris Nunn, technical director for four CART FedEx Championship Series champions (1996-99) while at Target/Chip Ganassi Racing, scored his first podium finish as team owner last month when Tony Kanaan brought home the #55 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Reynard in third place at Japan's Twin Ring Motegi.

**This season, Nunn is reunited with the driver (Zanardi) with whom he collaborated on back-to-back series titles in 1997 and 1998. They worked together for a second-place finish from the No. 2 qualifying position here in 1996, then won the 1997 and 1998 races. The 1997 win came from the pole. Nunn and 1999 series champion Juan Montoya also won here from the pole that year.


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Kanaan , Bryan Herta , Morris Nunn , Chip Ganassi , Mo Nunn
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing