IRL: Motegi: AGR, Kanaan race report

TEAM 7-ELEVEN'S KANAAN FINISHES SIXTH AT INDY JAPAN 300 MOTEGI, Japan (April 30, 2005) - Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan looked to be poised for victory Saturday at the Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series Indy Japan 300, but a late-race pit...

TEAM 7-ELEVEN'S KANAAN FINISHES SIXTH AT INDY JAPAN 300

MOTEGI, Japan (April 30, 2005) - Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan looked to be poised for victory Saturday at the Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series Indy Japan 300, but a late-race pit stop for a splash of fuel dropped the defending IRL champion to a sixth-place finish.

Starting from the 10th position, Kanaan methodically guided the Team 7-Eleven car towards the front, moving into second place on lap 55, following behind ArcaEx teammate Dario Franchitti. The two remained "1-2" until a pit stop on lap 117 dropped Kanaan back into seventh place.

From there he again drove through the field, moving into second on lap 160, trailing only Tomas Scheckter. But like many in the field, Kanaan was forced to make a pit stop on Lap 198 for a splash of fuel. That stop was enough to drop the Team 7-Eleven car to sixth place and marks the first time since the initial race of the 2004 season that Kanaan has finished outside of the top five.

Klein Tools/Jim Beam teammate Dan Wheldon earned the victory, his third of the 2005 season, with Scott Sharp second, Buddy Rice third, Danica Patrick fourth and XM Satellite Radio teammate Bryan Herta coming home fifth.

Through four events, Kanaan resides second in the driver point standings, 46 points shy of Wheldon.

Kanaan and the rest of the IndyCar Series teams will now look towards the 89th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 29. The event will be televised live by ABC Sports, beginning at 12 p.m. (EDT). It can also be heard live by XM Satellite Radio subscribers by tuning into Extreme XM, channel 152.

Tony Kanaan, #11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone:

"It was not a lucky day for us. I don't like to say that we had bad luck, but we didn't have enough luck today to win the race. The Team 7-Eleven car was very strong and we were raced very hard. But it is what it is and we didn't get the win."

Kim Green, President, Andretti Green Racing:

"It's great that Andretti Green racing won the race, but I feel for Tony and Team 7-Eleven. We tried to keep pace with Dario when he was leading and Dario was a little quicker than us. We just couldn't quite make our fuel mileage that we needed to make to get to the end; maybe we pushed too hard too early like some of the other drivers. Hats off to the crew, it was another great weekend of car preparation and we were very, very close to having another winning race car."

-AGR-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Scott Sharp , Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Buddy Rice , Kim Green , Jim Beam , Danica Patrick