IRL: Texas II: AGR/Kanaan Saturday report

FORT WORTH, Texas. (Oct. 11, 2003) -- Team 7-Eleven drivers Tony Kanaan and Dan Wheldon spent Saturday morning working through two practice sessions in preparation for the Indy Racing League (IRL) IndyCar Series season finale, both hoping to put...

FORT WORTH, Texas. (Oct. 11, 2003) -- Team 7-Eleven drivers Tony Kanaan and Dan Wheldon spent Saturday morning working through two practice sessions in preparation for the Indy Racing League (IRL) IndyCar Series season finale, both hoping to put themselves in a position to challenge for substantial prizes on Sunday. Kanaan, who will start from the ninth position, ran a total of 86 laps during the two sessions on his way to turning a fast lap of 221.043 miles per hour. Wheldon, who will start from the 16th position, put in 57 laps worth of work, notching a fast speed of 220.324 miles per hour. Both drivers focused on finding a setup that will allow them to race in the type of traffic and packs expected during Sunday's 200-lap event. With a win Sunday, Kanaan will score his first-ever IndyCar Series championship, while Wheldon needs to make up just five points to beat Roger Yasukawa for rookie of the year honors. Sunday's race - 300 miles in length - goes green at 3:45 p.m. (EDT) and airs live on ESPN with coverage beginning at 3:30 p.m.

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

"I feel good for tomorrow. I'm confident. We just need to have clean pit stops and see what is going to happen. You can't predict it. This championship is going to be decided on the last lap, so we'll see what is going to happen. I'm glad the race is the only thing left in front of us. There are a lot of distractions and other things we have to deal with and that is part of what we do. But, I'm glad that we only have the race to think about now."

ERIC COWDIN, RACE ENGINEER, #11 TEAM 7-ELEVEN DALLARA/HONDA/FIRESTONE:

"We've always been more comfortable with where we're at on the race car. He's happy. We've gone way into the details on the setup now. We only worked one session on qualifying and three sessions on the race. We've got a reasonable handle on what we can do and now it's down to execution. We need to have good pit stops, we need to make the car consistent during the race with the adjustments we can make and he needs to take advantage of the opportunities on the track. At the end, if we've done the best we can, then what is going to be is going to be."

DAN WHELDON, #7 TEAM 7-ELEVEN DALLARA/HONDA/FIRESTONE:

"We were just working on the car to make sure it is good in traffic. I think that is where we needed to focus our attention because that is where we will be in the race tomorrow. We aren't as quick as we would like when we run by ourselves but I think we will be running in traffic all afternoon. The Team 7-Eleven crew will make sure I have very strong pits stops and that will help."

- AGR -

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Roger Yasukawa