IRL: Nazareth: Honda Saturday report

Kanaan Heads Honda Nazareth Qualifying Indy Racing League IndyCar Series points leader Tony Kanaan will lead the Honda-powered field to the green flag for Sunday's Firestone Indy 225, qualifying third today with his Andretti Green Racing...

Kanaan Heads Honda Nazareth Qualifying

Indy Racing League IndyCar Series points leader Tony Kanaan will lead the Honda-powered field to the green flag for Sunday's Firestone Indy 225, qualifying third today with his Andretti Green Racing teammate Dario Franchitti starting alongside in the fourth position. Both drivers mentioned increased understeer [loss of front-end grip] in warmer and more humid conditions today at Nazareth Speedway.

Helio Castroneves ended a streak of six consecutive Honda poles by posting the fastest speed in Saturday's single-car qualifying runs. It is the Brazilian's second pole of the season and he remains the only non-Honda driver to claim an IndyCar pole in 2004.

Adrian Fernandez heads a group of five Honda drivers all posting fast qualifying runs today, starting on the outside of the third row in his own Fernandez Racing entry. Andretti Green Racing teammates Bryan Herta and Dan Wheldon will line up seventh and eighth, respectively, followed by the Rahal Letterman Racing duo of Vitor Meira in ninth and Buddy Rice, tenth, to complete the fifth row of the 22-car Nazareth starting field.

Rookie Mark Taylor qualified 15th for Access Motorsports, with fellow rookie IndyCar racer Kosuke Matsuura 18th for Super Aguri Fernandez Racing.

Honda, which has already clinched the 2004 IRL Manufacturers' Championship, will be seeking its 12th consecutive race victory in Sunday's 225-lap feature, with live television coverage on ABC.

Tony Kanaan (#11 7-Eleven Andretti Green Racing Honda): IRL points leader, qualified third: "I would have liked to have been on the pole, of course, but we had a little too much understeer during our run. I do think we have a good handling car for the race tomorrow, and that is more important for us. It's still too early to think 'championship', but we do need to finish each race as best we can to keep adding to our [championship points] lead."

-honda-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Mark Taylor , Helio Castroneves , Adrian Fernandez , Tony Kanaan , Bryan Herta , Dan Wheldon , Buddy Rice , Kosuke Matsuura , Vitor Meira