IRL: Indy 500: Tony Kanaan opening practice comments

Tony Kanaan and the ...

Tony Kanaan and the #17 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Chevrolet G-Force opened practice for this year's 86th running of the Indianapolis 500 with a fast lap of 224.324 mph around the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval. It was the 19th-fastest lap recorded today. Kanaan, competing in his first career Indy 500, is with Mo Nunn Racing for his third season running in the CART FedEx Championship Series in 2002. The 1999 U.S. 500 winner this month is teaming with fellow Brazilian Felipe Giaffone, who drives Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing's full-time entry on the 2002 Indy Racing League circuit. Kanaan turned a total of 33 laps today.

Giaffone and the #21 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Chevrolet G-Force opened practice today with a fast lap of 225.043 mph. It was the 13th-fastest lap of the day today and the fastest lap ever at the Speedway for Giaffone, last season's Indy Racing League Rookie of the Year while with Treadway/Hubbard Racing who had never broken the 220-mph barrier before today. Giaffone turned a total of 34 laps today. This is his first season with Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing, which is competing here for the first time in its three-year existence. Giaffone finished 10th in last year's Indy 500.

Scott Sharp, last year's polesitter here, had the fast lap of opening day at 227.571 mph. Last year's race-winner, Helio Castroneves, was second-fastest at 227.408 mph, followed by two-time Indy 500 winner Al Unser, Jr., at 226.885 mph. Practice resumes Monday at 11 a.m. local time (noon EDT) with Pole Day qualifying set for Saturday.


"It's good to get that first day behind us. I'm really happy to be here, but I won't say that I'm happy to be in 19th. But as everyone's been telling me, it's all about patience here, and we have a long way to go until qualifying. This was only my second day ever driving on this track. It's an absolutely wonderful place, and I just can't wait till race day. But whenever I say that, Morris (team owner Morris Nunn) is very quick to remind me that we have to take this one day at a time. I think 224 is a good baseline, and we have some of the most experienced engineering minds at the Speedway thinking about how to make us go faster. It's another day tomorrow, and hopefully it will bring us a few more miles per hour."


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Series IndyCar
Drivers Felipe Giaffone , Scott Sharp , Helio Castroneves , Tony Kanaan , Al Unser Sr. , Morris Nunn , Mo Nunn