RICHMOND, Va. (June 28, 2003) -- Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan came into this weekend with no race experience at Richmond International Raceway, but looked like a Virginia-veteran on the way to scoring a fifth-place finish in Saturday...
RICHMOND, Va. (June 28, 2003) -- Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan came into this weekend with no race experience at Richmond International Raceway, but looked like a Virginia-veteran on the way to scoring a fifth-place finish in Saturday night's running of the SunTrust Indy Challenge.
Kanaan, who started fifth on the grid in the #11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone, carefully negotiated his way through the traffic-filled confines of the three-quarter mile tri-oval while never running outside the top five. He bolted to second on the opening lap of the race and then went on to dice with the leaders for the remainder of the event, which was halted on lap 206 after rain moved over the speedway. The race was slated for 250 circuits.
Scott Dixon led very lap on the way to claiming his second-straight Indy Racing League (IRL) IndyCar^Ù Series win. Helio Castroneves came home second, followed by his teammate Gil de Ferran. Sam Hornish Jr. wound up fourth.
Kanaan's sixth top-five finish of the 2003 season enabled him to maintain his standing as IRL points leader after 7 of 16 IndyCar Series events. Kanaan now leads Dixon by 27 points, 247-220.
The series will resume next weekend at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., with an event slated for Sunday afternoon.
TONY KANAAN, #11 TEAM 7-ELEVEN DALLARA/HONDA/FIRESTONE:
"Tonight was tough. I can't blame anybody but myself. I'm driving it and I think I chose the wrong setup our Team 7-Eleven car. I couldn't really tell my engineer what I needed and the car struggled a little bit during the race. But, to get out of here with a top five is not too bad. I figured this race would be pretty tough for me. It seems like I couldn't figure out this racetrack and what I needed -- right from 'day one.' But, we did our best and a top five is good. We have some bright days ahead of us. I think we tested pretty good at the tracks we will go to in the next few weeks. Honda has been giving me great power and we'll go for the win next time."
KIM GREEN, PRESIDENT, ANDRETTI GREEN RACING:
"We're not satisfied, but we hung in there all night. We had great pit stops. Our car was maybe not quite as good as we needed in traffic, but we expected this place to be difficult. It's a fun racetrack, but difficult. I know we learned a lot and we should be ready for it next year."
- AGR -