IRL: Fontana: AGR/Kanaan Friday report

FONTANA, Calif. (Sept. 19, 2003) - Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan opened up a critical weekend at California Speedway on a good note Friday, posting the fastest practice time over the course of two 90-minute sessions. Kanaan,...

FONTANA, Calif. (Sept. 19, 2003) - Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan opened up a critical weekend at California Speedway on a good note Friday, posting the fastest practice time over the course of two 90-minute sessions.

Kanaan, who has driven the #11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone to one win, eight top-five and 11 top-10 finishes this season, covered the two-mile oval in 32.0238 seconds for a speed of 224.833 miles per hour.

Team 7-Eleven split its time on Friday between qualifying runs and race runs in preparation for both a good qualifying effort on Saturday and a solid race package for Sunday's 400-mile event.

Kanaan, who ranks third in the Indy Racing League (IRL) IndyCar Series standings and trails leader Helio Castroneves by just 14 points, will turn his attention to qualifying during Saturday morning's practice, which begins at noon (EDT). Qualifying is slated for 2 p.m. (EDT) and will be followed by a final 30-minute practice session at 7:45 p.m. (EDT).

TONY KANAAN, #11 TEAM 7-ELEVEN DALLARA/HONDA/FIRESTONE:

"I'm happy. I think we've made good improvements in the last week since we came here to test. I'm pleased with the balance of the car. We concentrated a lot on race setup today, so I wasn't concerned about speed and the speed was still there. I'm pleased, but it doesn't really matter where you qualify. This is going to be a tight race no matter where start. We just need to concentrate on the car setup and see what is going to happen Sunday. It was a good day for us. Honda gave us great power and hopefully it will help carry us to the front on Sunday."

ERIC COWDIN, RACE ENGINEER, #11 TEAM 7-ELEVEN DALLARA/HONDA/FIRESTONE:

"We're pretty pleased with being in the top-six in both sessions. Obviously, we're competitive and that's what we need to be for both of the last two races in the championship. Sunday is a long race and we just need to maintain everything we've been doing up to this point. Our priority is always on the race car, but Honda has done a good job giving us some horsepower for qualifying, as well. I think this should be a good weekend and keep us in the hunt for the championship. Everybody is doing everything they can do. The things we've done all year have gotten us to this point, so now it is about maintaining those things and maintaining our focus."

- AGR -

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Tony Kanaan