INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Aug. 6, 2003) -- If you've completed 10 of the 16 rounds on the 2003 Indy Racing League (IRL) IndyCar Series schedule and find yourself just one point out of the lead in the championship standings, you must have a...
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Aug. 6, 2003) -- If you've completed 10 of the 16 rounds on the 2003 Indy Racing League (IRL) IndyCar Series schedule and find yourself just one point out of the lead in the championship standings, you must have a pretty solid plan in place and it must be working. And if it's working, there is no reason to change it, according to Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan.
Fueled by one win, seven top-fives and eight top-10 finishes, Kanaan led the IndyCar Series standings after seven of the first nine events this season. Then, a DNF in the 10th race at Michigan International Speedway on July 27th dropped him to second in the standings behind Scott Dixon. But, for a team and driver that has been focused solely on winning races and a championship since the start of the year, there is no reason to change their approach.
"Nothing has changed for us since Michigan," said Kanaan, who drives the #11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone. "We were looking to win the race up there and we're still looking to win at St. Louis. The championship is so competitive -- a win is what the whole Team 7-Eleven needs."
Sunday's 250-mile event at Gateway International Raceway -- located just outside of St. Louis, Mo. -- marks the first of three-straight weekends of racing for the IndyCar Series competitors and comes on the heels of an off-weekend.
"We're looking forward to getting back to the race track, for sure," said Kanaan. "We had a pretty good test at St. Louis. Obviously, the race weekends are a lot different, but if you have a good test, at least you know you've got a good place to start from."
Like Kanaan, Andretti Green Racing president Kim Green is also eager to see his team return to action this weekend at Gateway.
"As we've been everywhere this year, we were very competitive at Michigan," said Green. "Unfortunately, we didn't get the result we were after. But, those types of things can certainly serve as motivation and I think that is how this team is reacting to it heading into this weekend.
"The next three races are going to be very important in determining the championship, so we need to keep working hard and keep trying to collect the maximum number of points we can each and every week."
Qualifying for Round 11 of the IRL IndyCar Series at Gateway is set for 6:15 p.m. (EDT) Saturday with the Emerson Indy 250 slated for 3 p.m. (EDT) on Sunday, airing live on ABC.
- AGR -