Team 7-Eleven's Kanaan Opens Season with Eighth-Place Finish at Homestead-Miami HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Feb. 29, 2004) - Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan started eighth, fought his way back from being one lap down after an ill-timed caution flag and...
Team 7-Eleven's Kanaan Opens Season with Eighth-Place Finish at Homestead-Miami
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Feb. 29, 2004) - Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan started eighth, fought his way back from being one lap down after an ill-timed caution flag and went on to record an eighth place in the Indy Racing League® (IRL) IndyCar® Series season opener at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
As he has done in the past, Kanaan jumped on the rest of the field early Sunday, moving from eighth on the grid to inside the top five in a matter of moments. From there, Kanaan settled in with the leaders, which included all three of his teammates through the early stages of the event.
As the race neared the midway point, Kanaan remained in the top five and came to pit road for his second stop under green flag conditions on Lap 86. However, the caution flag flew one lap later and dropped Kanaan a lap down to the leaders. After being waved around to join the tail end of the lead-lap cars on the restart, Kanaan found himself in the 12th position and then went to work on regaining the lost ground.
During the final quarter of the 200-lap race, Kanaan battled to as high as sixth before relinquishing a couple of positions and ending the day with his eighth-place result.
Kanaan's Andretti Green Racing teammate, Dan Wheldon, went on to post the team's best finish of the day, a third. Bryan Herta finished 13th, while a crash sidelined Dario Franchitti on Lap 105 and left him with a 17th-place result.
The 2004 IndyCar Series continues March 21 at Phoenix International Raceway with Round Two of the 16-race schedule.
Tony Kanaan, #11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
"It was a long day. I think the car was a little too 'stuck' (too much downforce). I felt like I drove a pretty good race, but we just didn't seem to have enough today and we'll work on that. But, it was a great job by all the Team 7-Eleven guys. It's a long season. There are 15 races left and a lot of points out there. I'm anxious to get to Phoenix now and defend my title there."
Kim Green, President, Andretti Green Racing:
"It was a hard fought top 10 for us. Everybody did a great job. Tony drove the wheels off of it. We just didn't quite have the total package today to go to the front. But, we hung in there and got some very valuable points. I know the whole team learned a lot and now we're ready to go to the next one."