IRL: Motegi: AGR Andretti, Kanaan race report

Team 7-Eleven's Kanaan injured while dueling for lead, Andretti 4th at Motegi. MOTEGI, Japan (April 13, 2003) -- Tony Kanaan was injured in a two-car accident on Lap 178 of the Bridgestone Indy Japan 300 while battling Scott Dixon for the ...

Team 7-Eleven's Kanaan injured while dueling for lead, Andretti 4th at Motegi.

MOTEGI, Japan (April 13, 2003) -- Tony Kanaan was injured in a two-car accident on Lap 178 of the Bridgestone Indy Japan 300 while battling Scott Dixon for the lead. Kanaan was airlifted to Dokkyo University Hospital where X-rays showed a radial fracture of his left arm according to Dr. Geoffrey Billows of the IRL Medical Staff. X-rays on his right leg proved negative. Kanaan was released from the hospital Sunday evening and is flying to Indianapolis for further treatment.

Michael Andretti started 10th and worked his way up to sixth at the start of the race. Andretti continued his charge to the front, running as high as third. Team 7-Eleven struggled with the downforce on the car, causing Andretti to give up several positions. He pitted on Lap 161 and the car stalled as he was leaving the pits. After restarting 10th, Andretti worked his way up to his final finishing position of fourth.

Scott Sharp earned his eighth IndyCar Series victory ahead of Kenny Brack and Felipe Giaffone. AGR's third driver, Dan Wheldon, finished seventh in his 2003 debut. Sharp leads the IRL Championship with 106 points ahead of Kanaan who has 102. Andretti is seventh in the IRL point standings with 77.

The IRL IndyCar Series season continues with Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 25th. Practice opens at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 4 with the first day of qualifications on Saturday, May 10.

Kim Green , President -- Andretti Green Racing
"We certainly looked to have a solid finish with Tony. He did a great job in the race and Team 7- Eleven gave him great pit stops. We may not have had the car to win the race, but we were looking at a good finish. Right now we are hoping for a speedy recovery for Tony."

Michael Andretti , Team 7-Eleven
"The Team 7-Eleven car had too much downforce today which hurt us when we were trying to pass other cars. Then I stalled in the pits and I lost a lap which hurt us. The way the things turned out, losing that lap hurt us a lot. I think if we hadn't lost that lap it would have been interesting. [On Tony Kanaan's incident] It is really disappointing Tony was doing a great job today and now we are just waiting to get an update on his condition."

Tony Cotman -- Team 7-Eleven Team Manager
"For Team 7-Eleven, it was very disappointing with Tony crashing out. This was a big blow and I hope that Tony is all right. For our team we just didn't do it right. It was a long day and we struggled around and got a fourth at the end of the day. We are very disappointed with the finish, but I am very happy with the crew."

- AGR -

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Scott Sharp , Michael Andretti , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Kenny Brack , Dan Wheldon , Kim Green