IRL: Nazareth: AGR, Kanaan race report

NAZARETH, Pa. (Aug. 29, 2004) -Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan finished second to Klein Tools/Jim Beam teammate Dan Wheldon during Sunday's Indy Racing League (IRL) IndyCar® Series Firestone Indy 225 at Nazareth Speedway. Kanaan's second-place...

NAZARETH, Pa. (Aug. 29, 2004) -Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan finished second to Klein Tools/Jim Beam teammate Dan Wheldon during Sunday's Indy Racing League (IRL) IndyCar® Series Firestone Indy 225 at Nazareth Speedway.

Kanaan's second-place effort, combined with ArcaEx driver Dario Franchitti's third-place finish, secured a '1-2-3' sweep for Andretti Green Racing in the final race to be held at the tricky Nazareth oval.

Kanaan qualified third for the event and kept the #11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone among the top-five throughout the race. With passing at a premium on the tight Nazareth circuit, track position was paramount and that's where Wheldon earned the victory. A caution period with approximately 70 laps remaining saw Kanaan enter pit lane in third place. Quick pit work by the Team 7- Eleven crew allowed Kanaan to gain one place when he returned to the track. However, Wheldon managed to beat the #11 Team 7-Eleven machine to the timing line at the pit exit to take the lead.

From that point, it was a matter of Kanaan holding onto second position, gaining valuable points and extending his lead in the IndyCar Series championship.

With Wheldon earning his third victory of the season, followed by Kanaan and Franchitti, Andretti Green Racing posted their first '1-2-3' sweep since joining the IndyCar Series in 2003. Rice came home fourth, followed by Helio Castroneves in fifth place.

With his second-place finish, Kanaan now has a series-record 12 consecutive top-five finishes and holds a 72-point advantage over Wheldon (503-431) in the IndyCar Series points standings with Rice 76 points back in third place. Andretti Green has now won eight of 13 races in 2004, as well as having won every race on tracks shorter than 1.5 miles this season.

Kanaan and the rest of the IndyCar Series teams return to action September 12 at Chicagoland Speedway for the Delphi Indy 300. The event will be televised live by ABC Sports, beginning at 1:30 p.m. EDT.

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

"It was a very good day for Team 7-Eleven, frustrating at some points and exciting at others. When we got to the last pit stop, I knew that Tony Cotman, Dan Wheldon's strategist, was going to short- fuel Dan to put him ahead of me. Sure enough, we leave the pits and he's ahead. We're running the same car, the same engine and the same setup. I was going to need traffic if I was going to try to get a run and pass him, but we got two yellows and that kept the field bunched together. I knew that Dario (Franchitti) was behind me and if he tried to pass, it wouldn't be anything reckless. So, I held my position and gained more points towards the championship."

Kim Green, President, Andretti Green Racing:

"The Team 7-Eleven car was pretty good today, but we weren't able to tune the car based on our telemetry, as we didn't have any telemetry today; something failed. That makes it tough, as we're flying blind and aren't able to monitor such things as fuel consumption and tire pressures, so we can help Tony with some adjustments as we move forward in the race. We were very conservative today and I'm just very, very pleased that we came home in second place. Tony drove a hell of a race in a car that we would have been able to tune to make better, and I think could have won the race. '1-2-3' for Andretti Green Racing shows just how much teamwork goes on at this place. Hopefully we can continue it."

-AGR-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Kim Green , Jim Beam