TEAM 7-ELEVEN'S KANAAN PLACES EIGHTH AT INDIANAPOLIS SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 29, 2005) - Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan started from the pole position and led much of the 89th running of the Indianapolis 500, but a late-race pit stop to...
TEAM 7-ELEVEN'S KANAAN PLACES EIGHTH AT INDIANAPOLIS
SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 29, 2005) - Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan started from the pole position and led much of the 89th running of the Indianapolis 500, but a late-race pit stop to take on fuel and replace a vibrating rear wheel dropped the defending IRL® IndyCar® Series champion to an eighth-place finish.
Starting from the pole position, Kanaan battled with Sam Hornish Jr. during the first half of the event, then staged a '1-2' duel with teammate Dario Franchitti throughout much of the second portion of the race. But a vibration in the rear of the car resulted in a full-length pit stop on lap 172, coming at a time when some teams gambled on short-fuel strategies, dropping Kanaan back to 11th place. He eventually forged into the top-10 and a final eighth-place finish.
Klein Tools/Jim Beam teammate Dan Wheldon earned the victory, his fourth of the 2005 season, with Vitor Meira second, XM Satellite Radio teammate Bryan Herta third, Danica Patrick fourth and Buddy Lazier coming home fifth.
Through five events, Kanaan resides second in the driver point standings with 162 points, 72 shy of Wheldon.
Up next for Kanaan and the rest of the IndyCar Series teams is the Bombardier Learjet 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, June 11. The event will be televised live by ESPN, beginning at 8:30 p.m. (EDT).
Tony Kanaan, #11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
"The Team 7-Eleven car was fast early in the race, but not when it counted. We had a vibration in a wheel late in the race and had to make a pit stop that dropped us back a bit. Unfortunately, that's racing and we'll just have to try to do it again next year. I knew I wasn't going to be able to win the race, but I was going to do everything I could to help my teammates win."
Kim Green, President, Andretti Green Racing:
"Team 7-Eleven had a very fast car when we were out front. Looking back, I wish I had gambled on a pit stop knowing what I do now about what happened with all those late yellows. We should have just short-fueled the car to keep Tony out front because when we were out front we were untouchable. But back in traffic the last couple of stints we weren't so good. Tony drove a hell of a race and is still my hero. It's all about teamwork and we didn't quite get the job done, but one of our teammates did."