HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Feb. 27, 2004) - Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan is still two days from the start of the 2004 Indy Racing League (IRL) IndyCarÂ® Series season, but is already thinking ahead to what he hopes will be a great start. Kanaan, who...
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Feb. 27, 2004) - Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan is still two days from the start of the 2004 Indy Racing League (IRL) IndyCar® Series season, but is already thinking ahead to what he hopes will be a great start.
Kanaan, who drives the #11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone, opened his pursuit of the 2004 IndyCar Series championship today at Homestead-Miami Speedway with the first day of practice for Sunday's 300-mile season debut. The 29-year old Brazilian recorded the third quickest lap of the morning session at 215.472 miles per hour before a problem ended his session early. For the day Kanaan put in 53 laps on the newly-reconfigured 1.5-mile oval, which now features turns banked at a maximum angle of 20 degrees.
Overall, the four Andretti Green Racing drivers put in more than 570 miles of practice on Friday to open the weekend, combining for 383 trips around the newly-reconfigured 1.5-mile Homestead oval. Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon was the quickest of the four, posting a fast lap of 216.336 miles per hour. He was followed by Bryan Herta, who ran a lap of 216.082 miles per hour in the #7 XM Satellite Radio Honda-powered Dallara. Kanaan was next, followed by ArcaEx driver Dario Franchitti, who clocked in at 214.709 miles per hour.
Kanaan and his teammates will work through one more practice session Saturday morning before the first qualifying session of the season at 1:15 p.m. (EST). Sunday's race, which is the first of 16 on the 2004 schedule, is set to go green just after 2 p.m. (EST) Sunday.
Tony Kanaan, #11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
"We struggled a little bit with the setup today. We tried something a little bit different than our teammates. But, that is the good thing about having four cars. Now, we can work with them and see what they've got. The big day for Team 7-Eleven is Sunday. The result today doesn't look like we would want it to look, but the important result is the one we get Sunday."
Kim Green, President, Andretti Green Racing:
"We worked a lot on our race setup today with Tony. We made some progress and have a little bit of work left to do. It's certainly a long race, so the race setup is very, very important. We tried to work as much as we could in traffic to get a feel for what it will be like here on Sunday. I think now we've got a lot of good information and can work with our teammates and to come up with the ideal race setup for the Team 7-Eleven car."