Kanaan Dominates on the Way to Huge Team 7-Eleven Victory at Texas FT. WORTH, Texas (June 12, 2004) - For the second time this season, Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan dominated an Indy Racing LeagueÂ® (IRL)...
Kanaan Dominates on the Way to Huge Team 7-Eleven Victory at Texas
FT. WORTH, Texas (June 12, 2004) - For the second time this season, Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan dominated an Indy Racing League® (IRL) IndyCar® Series race, but this time he did it in the backyard of his primary sponsor, Dallas-based 7-Eleven, Inc.
Kanaan, who led 192 of 200 laps earlier this year in his victory at Phoenix, started third and led 145 of 200 laps to win the Bombardier 500 Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway.
The driver of the #11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone took the lead for the first time on lap 23 and then, reminiscent of his run in Phoenix, was reluctant to give it up. Kanaan took full control of the race about a quarter of the way through and continued to dictate the pace until strategy became a wildcard with 20 laps to go.
Needing fuel to run to the finish, Kanaan and all but two of the other lead-lap competitors came to the pit lane on lap 181 for fuel only and he returned to the track in third. But on the restart five laps later, Kanaan removed any doubt that he was the man to beat after he darted underneath second-place running Helio Castroneves and then race leader Dan Wheldon. Kanaan then held off teammate Dario Franchitti over the final 12 laps and scored his third career IndyCar Series triumph.
The victory put Kanaan back on top of the series point standings, as he swapped spots with Wheldon and now holds a 210-175 lead after five of 16 events. After starting the season with an eighth-place finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Kanaan has finished first (Phoenix), second (Twin Ring Motegi), second (Indianapolis) and first.
Kanaan and the rest of the IndyCar Series teams return to action in two weeks at Richmond International Raceway for the SunTrust Indy Challenge on June 26.
Tony Kanaan, #11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
"What an unbelievable night for the whole Team 7-Eleven. This is awesome. I came so close to winning this race last year and I just didn't want to finish second again. I really wanted to finish the job this time and we did it. Everyone on the team did a great job all weekend and it showed tonight. Every win means a lot, but this one is very, very sweet right now."
Michael Andretti, Chief Executive Officer, Andretti Green Racing:
"I'm so proud of everyone on Team 7-Eleven and everybody at Andretti Green. This was a huge win for Tony and a great run for Dario and the ArcaEx team. The races at Texas are so close and competitive that it means that much more to not only win, but to go 'one-two.' It was a great run."