IRL: Phoenix: Tony Kanaan Friday report

Team 7-Eleven'S Kanaan Finds Speed Early In Bid To Defend Phoenix Title AVONDALE, Ariz. (March 19, 2004) - If Friday's Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series practice sessions are any indication, Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan still knows...

Team 7-Eleven'S Kanaan Finds Speed Early In Bid To Defend Phoenix Title

AVONDALE, Ariz. (March 19, 2004) - If Friday's Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series practice sessions are any indication, Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan still knows plenty about getting around Phoenix International Raceway.

Kanaan, who won the Phoenix event in 2003, got off to a strong start in his attempt to make it two-in-a-row on the flat one-mile oval. Kanaan clocked in third fastest overall Friday with a best lap of 174.353 miles per hour.

The driver of the #11 Team 7-Eleven Honda-powered Dallara, who enters the event ranked eighth in the series championship after the season-opener, overcame some early mechanical problems Friday morning and then went on to complete 72 laps of practice over the course of two practice sessions in unseasonably warm conditions.

Kanaan and his Andretti Green Racing teammates will work through one more practice session Saturday morning before rolling off for qualifying at 2 p.m. (EST).

Defending IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon recorded the fastest speed Friday among 20 drivers at 175.432 miles per hour and was followed by Helio Castroneves, who charted in at 175.136.

Sunday's race, which is the second of 16 on the 2004 schedule, is set to go green just after 4 p.m. (EST).

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

"We had a shaky morning and had a couple of problems. I didn't get on track until about 25 minutes into the first session, but the car was good right out of the box. We were able to do some really good lap times. This afternoon everybody worked on their race setups and we were no different. The track is very slippery. When we tested here it was a lot cooler. With as hot as it was today, it was unbelievable how slippery the race track was. The good thing is that it's slippery for everybody. We'll see what's going to happen. It's going to be a difficult race, for sure."

Kim Green, President, Andretti Green Racing:

"Today was just a lot of ongoing work from our test here in February. With the rules this year we've lost some downforce. We had a very, very good car here last year and now I think we're getting back to having a more satisfied driver; looking for the balance he thinks we need for both the race and for qualifying. All in all, I think we had a very productive day."

-agr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Kim Green