CHAMPCAR/CART: Laguna Seca Mo Nunn Racing pre-race notes and quotes

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#55 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Mercedes-Benz Reynard
Pre-Race Notes/Quotes –Sept. 8-10, 2000
At Laguna Seca Raceway – Monterey, Calif. (2.238-mile permanent road course)
Round 16 of 20 on the 2000 CART FedEx Championship Series

TONY KANAAN

“This is always one of my favorite places to race all year. It’s just a beautiful racetrack, and I’ve had some great success here. Last year, I qualified on the front row here, and the year before that, my rookie season, I finished third. I was also on the pole here in both my years in Indy Lights, and I won in 1996 and finished second in 1997. So, naturally, I’m looking forward to coming back. We tested here a couple of weeks ago, and we finished strong (fourth overall in the two-day CART open test) in my Hollywood/Mercedes. It’s a real driver’s track. A momentum track. So I’m looking for this to be our breakout race. We've been in kind of a slump, and we haven't had the greatest luck in the world, either. I'm hoping we put it all together here this weekend.”

NOTES

-- This is Kanaan’s third visit to Laguna Seca Raceway in a Champ Car, his first with first-year Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing. He scored his first podium finish here in his Rookie of the Year season of 1998, taking third place after starting 14th while driving for Tasman Motorsports. Last year, Kanaan qualified on the outside of the front row but was forced to retire midway through the race with transmission problems.

-- In his two seasons of Dayton Indy Lights competition in 1996 and 1997, Kanaan qualified on the pole here both times, winning the first year and finishing second the following year enroute to the series championship.

-- At the CART Open Test here the last week in August, Kanaan finished with the fourth-fastest lap of the two-day session. He toured the 2.238-mile road course in 1 minute, 8.635 seconds (an average of 117.386 mph). He was bettered only by Helio Castroneves, Gil de Ferran and Patrick Carpentier.

-- At Vancouver last weekend, Kanaan finished 14th after qualifying 14th. His charge toward the front of the pack ended early in the race when he was hit from behind by Michel Jourdain, Jr., and the repair of the resulting rear suspension damage cost him four laps.

-- 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 won here from the pole with Zanardi in 1996 and from the outside of the front row in 1998.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Jimmy Vasser , Patrick Carpentier , Alex Zanardi , Morris Nunn , Chip Ganassi , Michel Jourdain , Mo Nunn