TONY KANAAN "I love racing in Detroit. In 1996, my first win ever in Indy Lights was at the Belle Isle circuit, which was really special. And in 1997, I was fighting with Helio (Castroneves) for the championship, so my second win at that track...
"I love racing in Detroit. In 1996, my first win ever in Indy Lights was at the Belle Isle circuit, which was really special. And in 1997, I was fighting with Helio (Castroneves) for the championship, so my second win at that track helped me win the championship. This circuit is pretty difficult because the concrete surfaces are very slippery in a lot of spots. So, to be competitive, a driver needs a car with good traction. Since the driver is making 35 gearshifts per lap -- going from second gear in some of the slow corners up to sixth for the quick straightaways -- he also needs good driveability from his race car. My Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing team has been working very hard (we just had a good two-day test at Mid-Ohio last week) and the results are starting to show. Mercedes-Benz has also been working very hard at developing the IC108F engine for these street circuits, so I am looking forward to getting onto this race track where I know I can run well. We get more confidence in ourselves and in our young team with every race. Sunday is Father's Day, and while my dad isn't going to be able to be at this race to watch me, I know he'll be watching from somewhere. It's because of my dad that I'm in racing today, so I hope that I can make this weekend extra special for him by winning the race. That would be a present for Mom as well....she gets mad at me if I don't give her a gift too!"
**This is the Tony Kanaan's third visit to Belle Isle in a Champ Car, his first with newly formed Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing.
**He scored back-to-back Indy Lights victories here (including his first) in 1996 and 1997. The latter win propelled him to the Indy Lights championship.
**In his first two Champ Car appearances, Kanaan was eighth (1998) and sixth (1999). The former win came during his Rookie of the Year season. He qualified sixth here both times.
**In his first two-plus seasons on the CART FedEx Championship Series circuit, Kanaan has 45 starts, one race win, seven top-five finishes, 22 top-10 finishes, one pole, and has qualified in the top 10 a total of 17 times. All three of his finishes this season have been in the top-10.
**Team owner Morris Nunn was technical director for the last four CART FedEx Championship Series champions while at Target/Chip Ganassi Racing -- Juan Montoya last year, Alex Zanardi in 1998 and 1999, and Jimmy Vasser in 1996. He won here in Detroit with Zanardi in 1998.