IRL: Homestead: Andretti, Kanaan Friday report

Team 7-Eleven's Andretti and Kanaan fifth and sixth quick at Homestead. HOMESTEAD, Florida (February 28, 2003) -- Despite posting the second quickest time of the afternoon practice session at Indy Racing League season opener in Homestead,...

Team 7-Eleven's Andretti and Kanaan fifth and sixth quick at Homestead.

HOMESTEAD, Florida (February 28, 2003) -- Despite posting the second quickest time of the afternoon practice session at Indy Racing League season opener in Homestead, Florida, Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan had to settle for being ranked sixth overall for the day. Elevated track temperatures caused the field to slow by nearly a full second on the slippery surface at the 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway. While Kanaan was able to record a best lap of 198.273 mph (27.2352 seconds) in the afternoon sun, his best time for the day was actually recorded at 199.604 mph (27.0536 seconds) during the day's opening practice.

While Kanaan settled for sixth, his teammate at Team 7-Eleven, Andretti Green Racing co-owner, Michael Andretti managed to record the fifth quickest time of the day. The veteran racer, who is participating in his first event as an owner/driver and the first of the last four he will run in his career, posted a best lap of 199.878 mph (27.0165 seconds).

Scott Sharp was the fastest of the day after marking a best lap of 204.132 mph (26.4535 seconds) in the morning practice session. Helio Castroneves was second with a fast lap of 201.967 mph (26.7371 seconds) and Roger Yasukawa was third with a best lap of 200.924 mph (26.8758 seconds).

Andretti Green Racing's technical partner, Dario Franchitti, driving the #27 Alpine/Archipelago/Motorola entry was twelfth with a best lap of 197.670 mph (27.3183 seconds).

The 2003 Indy Racing League IndyCar Series season opener begins at 1 p.m. eastern. The race will be broadcast live on ABC.

Michael Andretti , Team 7-Eleven
"I think we made some good gains for the race in this last session. Unfortunately, when I went to do my run on new tires, I got caught in traffic, but I think I would have been right up there and possibly the quickest. We made several changes during the session that made the car better and hopefully we'll add more to that tomorrow. I'm pleased overall with the way Team 7-Eleven is ending the day."

Tony Cotman -- Team 7-Eleven Team Manager
"The track is obviously down on grip so our set up wasn't working too well out of the trailer. We made some changes between the sessions but the track got warmer as well. We tried to compensate for that but we still weren't where we wanted to be. Halfway through this afternoon session we made some changes and made up a fair amount of ground. All we're working on right now is race setup. We really need to concentrate on that. We've still got some work to do but the guys did a good job and we'll get more done tomorrow."

Tony Kanaan , Team 7-Eleven
"We still have one more day to work on the car. I'm not completely happy with the way it is right now, but the conditions are pretty different than those we had in the test. It's really the same for everyone out there. When you look at the results, second in the afternoon session, that's pretty good. But Team 7- Eleven is here to win and I guess we're just happier when we're first overall."

Kim Green , President -- Andretti Green Racing
"The weather conditions are a little bit different than when we tested here last. The wind also always creates some challenges at this racetrack, one end of the track is usually better than the other because of the wind direction. If you ask me if we are totally happy our three cars I'd have to say no, we need to keep working on them, but I do think we're in reasonable shape."

- AGR -

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Scott Sharp , Helio Castroneves , Michael Andretti , Tony Kanaan , Roger Yasukawa , Kim Green