IRL: Kentucky: AGR/Kanaan race report

Team 7-Eleven's Kanaan extends points advantage with sixth-place effort at Kentucky SPARTA, Ky. (Aug. 17, 2003) -- Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan didn't have the kind of day he wanted to have Sunday at Kentucky Speedway, but his sixth-place ...

Team 7-Eleven's Kanaan extends points advantage with sixth-place effort at Kentucky

SPARTA, Ky. (Aug. 17, 2003) -- Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan didn't have the kind of day he wanted to have Sunday at Kentucky Speedway, but his sixth-place effort was good enough to help him extend his Indy Racing League (IRL) IndyCar^Ù Series points lead with four races to go.

Kanaan started 11th in the 20-car field and -- as he did two races back at Michigan International Speedway -- dispatched several of them on the first lap. He immediately found himself running in seventh position, by lap three was in sixth and then went to work on trying to advance further. But, with eventual winner Sam Hornish, Jr. setting a blistering pace, Kanaan settled in just outside the top five, where he would spend the majority of the 200-lap event.

Scott Dixon chased Hornish from the outset of the race and went on to finish second, followed by Kanaan's Andretti Green Racing teammate Bryan Herta. Al Unser, Jr. finished fourth on the day, followed by Helio Castroneves in fifth.

Kanaan's performance in the #11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone helped him stretch his points lead from seven points to eight (385-377) over Castroneves, who moved into second Sunday. Dixon moved from fourth to third and sits just 12 points back. Gil de Ferran, who finished ninth at Kentucky, dropped from second to fourth in the standings and now trails Kanaan by 13.

The IndyCar Series continues next weekend at Nazareth Speedway in Nazareth, Pa., with the Firestone Indy 225. Qualifying for Round 13 of the 16-race series is set for Saturday with the 225-lap race slated for Sunday at 3 p.m. (EDT) -- live on ABC.

TONY KANAAN, #11 TEAM 7-ELEVEN DALLARA/HONDA/FIRESTONE:

"It was a long, tough day. We had a consistent car. Obviously, it wasn't near as fast as Sam's. But, we're taking it one race at a time, one point at a time. We're getting there. Every one of these that we get done means we are one race closer to the end of the season. If we can keep extending our advantage every race, that is what I need."

KIM GREEN, PRESIDENT, ANDRETTI GREEN RACING:

"We're a little disappointed. We're a better team than to be down a lap to two cars and that was disappointing. But, I'm proud of the way everybody hung in there. We had great pit stops. It was hard work all day on the race track. It was just a pretty tough weekend. It's a very bumpy race track. It's probably the roughest race track we've run on so far. But, we're doing what we need to do, which is score points and finish races. We do need to be more competitive and we've got to keep working towards that. I know everybody involved with this team is striving towards that."

- AGR -

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Bryan Herta , Al Unser Sr. , Sam Hornis