CHAMPCAR/CART: Tony Kanaan and Juan Montoya Optimistic Over Japan

Skip Barber trained drivers Tony Kanaan and Juan Montoya are optimistic about their chances when the CART FedEx Series visits the Motegi Twin-Ring Oval in Japan this weekend. Neither Kanaan nor Montoya have had the start to the new season that...

Skip Barber trained drivers Tony Kanaan and Juan Montoya are optimistic about their chances when the CART FedEx Series visits the Motegi Twin-Ring Oval in Japan this weekend.

Neither Kanaan nor Montoya have had the start to the new season that they would have hoped for. Montoya has one pole and has led or been in contention for the lead at one point in all three of the first rounds for this year. Mechanical demons though have struck Montoya at the beginning of each of the races where he has faired well in the early going. Japan, he hopes, will be different. Already he has equaled the number scoreless finishes he has had this year compared to last.

"This isn't how I hoped to start the new millennium," said Montoya, who has qualified third or better in each race this year, including a pole position at the snowed-out event in Nazareth. "The way the car has run in testing and during qualifying, it's a surprise that I have had trouble during the races. I feel like we can get right back into it with a couple good races. We're ready to get back to the podium."

Kanaan is still coming to grips with his new team, which is still in its infancy. Like Montoya, Kanaan has shown glimpses of his and his team’s potential, yet Lady Luck hasn’t smiled upon him.

"I can’t wait to make my first start in my new Hollywood Mercedes,” he proclaimed. “We’ve done especially well on the ovals so far, so we should be in good shape. We haven’t had the greatest luck in the world on race day, so hopefully we’ll be able to turn things around this weekend. Every race, this team shows it’s potential more and more. One of these times, soon, I think we’ll get it all together and perhaps find ourselves on the podium, or even win one!"

The CART FedEx Firestone Firehawk 500 will take place Sunday, May 15.

-George Tamayo

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Kanaan , Skip Barber