22 May 2012
Indy 500: Kanaan buoyed by KV form
Following KV Racing's strong showing over the Indy 500 qualifying weekend, Tony Kanaan was in excellent spirits despite the session having initially got off to the worst sort of start.
Tony Kanaan was feeling pretty good with the performance of the KV Racing Technology cars after Pole Day qualifying, which put him on the third row of the grid for the start of next weekend's Indianapolis 500 race alongside one of his team mates - EJ Viso - and just ahead of the team's rookie driver Rubens Barrichello.
Not that it had been an easy ride for Kanaan, who was the first man to take to the track on Saturday but who then had his qualifying time deleted because his car lacked the requisite weight ballast, meaning he had to go and do it all over again.
"It was hard enough to do it the first time. To do it again was breathtaking. But we did it; we're in," he said, after making it into the fast nine pole shoot-out with his second timed run. "I am exactly where I want to be."
If he hadn't posted that time, then Rubens Barrichello would have been into the top nine in his place after an impressive qualifying run of his own. Kanaan, of course, wasn't at all regretful to have ended up pipping his 'brother,' who is putting in his rookie appearance at the Indy 500.
"I'm going to make fun of him," laughed Kanaan. "But, you know, I think he's pretty happy for his first '500' to be in the top ten. I think it's pretty good."
Having made it into the final nine himself, Kanaan did only a single slow run in the pole shootout in order to comply with the Indy 500 qualifying format rules. He knew better than to risk the car by pushing too hard when it was clear that the Penske and Andretti Autosport teams had the top spots locked up.
"We looked at the speeds and we looked at the cars and we are going to be fighting between me, Viso and Josef [Newgarden]. That's where we still are, so I decided not to go. I think it was smarter," he said.
"We had a pretty smooth month so far. If I felt that I had a car to put it on the pole, of course I was going to be out there pounding around," he continued. "But I didn't feel the speed was there."
Instead, having got his one appearance out on track over and done with early, he could sit back and just enjoy the view. "I enjoyed watching, actually. I was waving at Marco, said hi to him on the inspection and stuff, and I just watched."
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