IRL: St. Louis: AGR/Kanaan Saturday report

Team 7-Eleven's Kanaan returns to form with top-three qualifying effort at Gateway MADISON, Ill. (Aug. 9, 2003) -- After a pair of disappointing qualifying efforts during the past two races, Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan returned to form at...

Team 7-Eleven's Kanaan returns to form with top-three qualifying effort at Gateway

MADISON, Ill. (Aug. 9, 2003) -- After a pair of disappointing qualifying efforts during the past two races, Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan returned to form at Gateway International Raceway and looked much like the driver who has led the Indy Racing League (IRL) IndyCar^Ù Series point standings for most of the season.

Kanaan, who wheels the #11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone, recorded a lap of 175.674 miles per hour to claim the third starting spot for Sunday's running of the Emerson Indy 250. Saturday's qualifying effort gave Kanaan his eighth start inside the top-five and snapped a two-race string of starts outside that zone.

Kanaan, who has led the IndyCar Series standings after seven of 10 events in 2003, enters Sunday's race ranked second overall -- just one point behind Scott Dixon.

Helio Castroneves -- currently ranked fourth in the point standings -- won the pole for Sunday's 200-lap race with a speed of 175.965 miles per hour and will start alongside Kenny Brack, who qualified at 175.777. Defending race winner Gil de Ferran will line up next to Kanaan in the fourth starting position (175.586), while Dixon will roll of fifth (175.386).

Tomorrow's race at Gateway is slated to begin at 3 p.m. (EDT) and will air live on ABC.

TONY KANAAN, #11 TEAM 7-ELEVEN DALLARA/HONDA/FIRESTONE:

"It was a good lap. I was happy with our run, but not to the point where I would say it was a perfect lap. We made a little bit of improvement in the car, but it wasn't quite fast enough (to win the pole). But, I wanted to give it everything I could and that's all I could do."

ON TOMORROW'S RACE

"It will be tough to pass tomorrow, so we're probably going to have to use traffic a lot and wait for people's cars to fall off. We'll see. It's not going to be easy."

ON THE POINTS RACE

"I want to win the championship. The only way to do that is to get the most points out of every race. The way to do that is to win every race, so that is what we are going to try and do."

KIM GREEN, PRESIDENT, ANDRETTI GREEN RACING:

"Obviously, we're disappointed that we're not first, but we're up near the front, which is good. The car was pretty well-balanced. We would love to be able to go, make one small change and have another go, but you obviously can't do that. We've had a good work-plan so far this weekend and I think it will give us a pretty good race setup."

-agr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan