IRL: Indy 500: AGR's Andretti/Kanaan day three practice report

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 6, 2003) -- Team 7-Eleven teammates Michael Andretti and Tony Kanaan both made statements on Tuesday, as Andretti posted a lap over 230 miles per hour and Kanaan returned to action for the first time after more than three...

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 6, 2003) -- Team 7-Eleven teammates Michael Andretti and Tony Kanaan both made statements on Tuesday, as Andretti posted a lap over 230 miles per hour and Kanaan returned to action for the first time after more than three weeks.

Andretti's lap -- officially clocked at 230.4160 (39.0598 seconds) -- stands as his top speed of the month thus far and was good for fifth on the day. The 13-time Indianapolis 500 starter used the morning to make full-tank race runs in the #7T Team 7- Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone before pulling out his #7 machine late in "Happy Hour" to make a few qualifying passes.

Kanaan, who was injured in last month's Indy Japan 300, climbed in the #11 Team 7-Eleven ride just before noon and found a comfort level after just a few laps. Before his first day was complete, Kanaan moved himself into the eighth position on the speed charts at 229.8940 miles per hour (39.1485 seconds), turning a total of 92 laps.

Andretti Green Racing teammate Dan Wheldon led all drivers at Indy on Tuesday with a lap of 231.1080 miles per hour (38.9429 seconds), which was aided by a tow from Andretti. Gil de Ferran was second at 230.8730 miles per hour (38.9824 seconds), while Tomas Scheckter was third at 230.8230 miles per hour (39.0496 seconds). Scott Dixon was fourth quick on Tuesday with a speed of 230.4760 miles per hour (39.0496 seconds).

Practice continues tomorrow at Indianapolis in preparation for Saturday's "pole day" qualifying session. The Indy 500 is slated to go green at 12 p.m. EDT and will be aired live on ABC Sports.

MICHAEL ANDRETTI , #7 TEAM 7-ELEVEN DALLARA/HONDA/FIRESTONE:

"The car felt really good (on the last run of the day). I was real happy. It felt really good on our full tank runs, as well, so I would say this was a real encouraging day today."

TONY COTMAN , TEAM MANAGER, TEAM 7-ELEVEN:

ON PUTTING UP A BIG NUMBER AT THE END OF THE DAY

"It's obviously not a real number, but it's always good to finish on a good note. Of course, we got a tow on that. But, you know what? The top six or seven probably got tows, so we might as well jump on the bandwagon.

"The best thing is the car is working pretty well and that is all we're really concerned with, more than the time right now. We're pretty happy. That's a good way to finish."

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

"Today was a blast. It was probably better than the day I won the Phoenix race. There was a lot of work that I had to do during the last 25 days. To be able to get back in the car was awesome. I would say it was a perfect day for me in terms of my physical condition.

"It was a positive day for the whole Team 7-Eleven. I think we did whatever we could. I'm missing four days of testing here, but we're up to speed. I've got great teammates that are helping me out and I'm really looking forward to the week."

KIM GREEN , PRESIDENT, ANDRETTI GREEN RACING:

ON TONY KANAAN'S FIRST DAY IN THE CAR

"I think we achieved our first goal, which was to get him comfortable. The day was really up to him as to how long we wanted to stay in the race car. We had a plan while he was feeling good and the guys worked at that plan. I think we have a pretty good car. We still have some work to do, but it's only Tuesday. I think that Tony certainly benefited from all the work Michael, Dan and Robby have done up until now, and the guys did a great job putting the car together. With all that teamwork it made Tony's job a little easier. He was certainly, as he said, a little tense about the first run, but really settled in very quickly. He is very good. He's fun to work with."

- AGR -

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Gil de Ferran , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon