IRL: Fontana: AGR/Kanaan Saturday report

Kanaan places Team 7-Eleven machine fifth on California starting grid FONTANA, Calif. (Sept. 20, 2003) Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan ran a lap of 225.198 miles per hour during 7-Eleven Pole Day qualifying Saturday, which earned him the fifth...

Kanaan places Team 7-Eleven machine fifth on California starting grid

FONTANA, Calif. (Sept. 20, 2003) Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan ran a lap of 225.198 miles per hour during 7-Eleven Pole Day qualifying Saturday, which earned him the fifth starting spot for Sunday?s 400-mile Indy Racing League (IRL) IndyCar Series event at California Speedway.

Kanaan, who circled the two-mile oval in 31.9719 seconds, earned his 10th top-five starting position of the season with his effort on Saturday.

The 28-year old Brazilian enters tomorrow's event just 14 points behind top-ranked driver Helio Castroneves and just two behind No. 2 man Scott Dixon.

Castroneves won the pole with a speed of 226.757 miles per hour and was followed by Honda driver Kenny Brack, who lapped the oval at 226.280. Dixon will start third after posting a speed of 226.219 miles per hour. Kanaan's Andretti Green Racing teammate Dan Wheldon, who is battling Roger Yasukawa for series rookie of the year honors, qualified fourth at 225.695. Tomorrow's race at California begins at 3:30 p.m. (EDT) and airs live on ABC.

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

"I'm happy. The last few superspeedway races we struggled to find the speed for qualifying, but not today. Tomorrow is a long race, but I'm really looking forward to it. I think we will have a very good race car. I'm extremely happy with the work Honda has done for us. They've come up with a lot of good stuff for this weekend. It's been a lot of really good teamwork. The whole Team 7- Eleven worked very hard to get that lap time."

KIM GREEN, PRESIDENT, ANDRETTI GREEN RACING:

"A lot of times, qualifying last (in the order) is an advantage. But, with the ambient temperature going up like it did (track temp increased 11 degrees during session), it was a disadvantage today. But, nevertheless, everybody did a great job. I can't thank the Honda guys enough for the work they've done. Everybody did everything they could to give Tony the best qualifying car they could. As usual, Tony carried the car exactly how he needed to for qualifying. This is pretty-much where we wanted to be. Obviously, a pole position would have been great. But, anywhere in the first three rows is a great starting spot."

- AGR -

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Tony Kanaan , Kenny Brack , Dan Wheldon , Roger Yasukawa