CHAMPCAR/CART: Toronto: Honda race report

Nakano scores career best finish. Shinji Nakano captured his best CART career finish, taking fourth in today's Molson Indy Toronto. Nakano, who was in the top ten during every practice session of the weekend and started the race seventh, ...

Nakano scores career best finish.

Shinji Nakano captured his best CART career finish, taking fourth in today's Molson Indy Toronto. Nakano, who was in the top ten during every practice session of the weekend and started the race seventh, managed to stay clear of the multiple late race incidents that claimed podium contending cars. Nakano's teammate, Adrian Fernandez, who struggled with set-up problems all weekend finished ninth after starting the race 13th.

Defending winner Michael Andretti, who on Friday suffered a fuel pressure problem and then was forced to qualify his back-up car on Saturday due to a fuel pick up problem, started 18th and finished 11th. Andretti rebounded despite being held for 3 additional seconds in his pit box, for a CART rule violation, and then having to return to the pits for an unscheduled stop to change flat-spotted tires after spinning in turn three on lap 39.

Team Kool Green drivers Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti each failed to finish due to mechanical problems. Tracy, who started second, lost the front brakes in his Honda powered Lola. After making all the adjustments he could from the cockpit to adjust the brake bias, he was forced to park it. Franchitti, who struggled with traction issues during the weekend, locked up the brakes, spun, and knocked off the rear wing, thus ending his day, but still retains third place in the championship.

Tony Kanaan has his day end early due to fuel pressure problems on lap 60, after running solidily in the top ten.

Shinji Nakano (#52 Alpine/Fernandez Racing Honda) Started 7th, finished 4th:

"I think it was a good race, no mistakes, no trouble, that's good. If we had qualified third or fourth I think we could have finished on the podium. I'm happy-happier than Chicago! The team did great, no mistakes. We had a great weekend, were fast in every practice. Hopefully we continue to improve and get better and better."

Adrian Fernandez (#51 Tecate/Telmez/Quaker State Fernandez Racing Honda) Started 13th, finished 9th:

"We just didn't have a good set-up for this track. We struggled all weekend to find a good base to work from but we just couldn't find it. It's disappointing for me because this has always been such a good track for me and I've done well. But we'll move on from here."

Michael Andretti (#39 Team Motorola Honda) Started 18th, finished 11th:

"The car had no grip. I was just sliding around and locking up the tires, just basically wearing them out. Then I locked up the brakes in turn three and had to go straight into the run off and I lost a lap in the process. It was just a bad weekend, one I want to forget. I think this year is making up for all the good luck I've had and is doing so in one year!"

Dario Franchitti (#26 Team KOOL Green Honda) Started 6th, finished 13th (not running-mechanical):

"It was a frustrating day: we had a problem with the pop-off valve the &first lap. Had no boost coming out of turn one and instead of making &headway, we lost ground. We had a problem in turn three where someone hit &me pretty hard from behind; hopefully CART will do something about it. And &I passed Dixon and CART said I shortcutted the course which I did not do. &CART wants overtaking in this series, than they do something like this. It &makes it tough."

Paul Tracy (#27 Team Kool Green Honda) Started 2nd , finished 16th (not running-mechanical):

"I started having brake problems right after the first stop; I don't know what happened. I was maxed out on bias and the car just had no front brakes. I tried to drive it as long as I could but it kept getting worse. Every time I touched the brake pedal the rear brakes would lock and I couldn't get the thing to stop."

Tony Kanaan (#10 Pioneer/WorldCom Mo Nunn Racing Honda) Started 10th, finished 17th (not running-mechanical):

"Something in the car just died, I don't know if it was electrical or what. I was coming down the straight and the car just cut out. I didn't want to cause a yellow, but I wasn't able to make it to the run-off area. We would have had a good finish. I wanted to win this one for Alex. We passed some cars and had some fun, but it was not meant to be.."

-honda-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Adrian Fernandez , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Shinji Nakano , Mo Nunn