IRL: Phoenix: Tony Kanaan race report

Kanaan Makes it Two-in-a-Row For Team 7-Eleven at Phoenix With Dominating Performance AVONDALE, Ariz. (March 21, 2004) - Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan started alongside his teammate on the outside of the front row, led the first lap and...

Kanaan Makes it Two-in-a-Row For Team 7-Eleven at Phoenix With Dominating Performance

AVONDALE, Ariz. (March 21, 2004) - Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan started alongside his teammate on the outside of the front row, led the first lap and never looked back on the way to his second consecutive Indy Racing League® (IRL) IndyCar® Series victory Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway.

Kanaan, who notched his first career IndyCar Series win at Phoenix last season, led 191 of the 200 laps in the #11 Team 7-Eleven Honda-powered Dallara, relinquishing the point just once during a round of green flag pit stops before the halfway point. In two career IRL starts at Phoenix, Kanaan has led 270 of the 400 laps run.

After taking the lead on the opening lap from Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon, Kanaan set the pace with Homestead-Miami winner Sam Hornish Jr. in his tire tracks. The two stayed out front until a round of green flag pit stops began 65 laps into the event. When the cycle ended a dozen laps later, Kanaan and Hornish resumed their roles at the head of the field. However, Hornish spun just past the 80-lap mark and damaged his machine, which moved last year's series champion Scott Dixon into the #2 spot.

Dixon chased Kanaan for more than 40 laps before the final set of pit stops arrived with 65 laps remaining. A good stop for Kanaan was critical in order to maintain control of the race and his Team 7-Eleven crew answered the call. Kanaan returned to the race track with the top spot, withstood constant pressure from Dixon throughout the rest of the event and secured the third career IndyCar Series win for Andretti Green Racing.

Wheldon finished a strong third for the second straight race in 2004 and third straight event dating back to the 2003 season finale. He was followed by Alex Barron in fourth and Darren Manning in fifth.

The 2004 IndyCar Series continues April 17 at Twin Ring Motegi in Motegi, Japan with Round Three of the 16-race schedule.

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

"I'm so happy for everybody on Team 7-Eleven. The team did a great job. All I did was drive the car around. They made all the changes and did all the work. We had great pit stops and a great engine today from Honda. A win is the best thing we can give all the guys that work in the shop. Scott Dixon was really strong at the end, but closing is one thing, passing is another."

Kim Green, President, Andretti Green Racing:

"I'm extremely happy for Team 7-Eleven. Overall it was a very, very good team effort. Tony did a great job all day. It was a tough race, though. We weren't really dominant. We were just strong enough and were able to hold off the people behind us. We had great pit stops and just hung in there all day.

"We weren't that good when we tested here in February and we had a lot of work to do. We were determined to come back with a better race car and we did."

-agr-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Darren Manning , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Alex Barron , Dan Wheldon , Kim Green , Jim Beam , Sam Hornish Jr.