Tony Kanaan may have lost out to Buddy Rice in the last round of the IRL IndyCar Series at the Michigan International Speedway but that blip doesn't disguise the fact that Kanaan and his Andretti-Green Racing teammates have dominated the 2004 season to date and are collective favourites for victory in this Sunday's Belterra Casino Indy 300 at the Kentucky Speedway.

Although Kanaan was mightily miffed at losing out to Rahal-Letterman Racing's Rice at Michigan, Andretti Green Racing entries have won six of 10 IndyCar Series events this season and between the four drivers have led 1,248 of 2,055 total laps run in 2004 (60.7 percent). AGR has had at least one car in the top five in 16 consecutive IndyCar Series events dating back to August 10th 2003, which stands as the longest active streak in the series.

AGR has placed two cars in the top five of an event 15 times, including eight of the past nine events this season. The team have won all three night events on the 2004 schedule courtesy of Kanaan and Dan Wheldon and have also triumphed at every race held at a track shorter than 1.5-miles in length.

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Although the Kentucky Speedway measures at exactly 1.5-miles, current points leader Kanaan, third place man Wheldon and fellow AGR drivers Dario Franchitti and Bryan Herta all know that a win is possible this weekend.

"I had a good race at Kentucky last year and Tony [Kanaan] and I both had a great test there last week, so I'm excited to go back," says Herta, who is the only member of the AGR camp to be winless so far in 2004. "I think we're geared up for a strong weekend and are looking forward to getting a good finish in the XM Satellite Radio car. I want to break into the win column with my other teammates."

The American veteran, who finished third in Kentucky last year, enters the Belterra Casino Indy 300 weekend coming off a sixth place effort last time out at the Michigan International Speedway, his fourth top ten result in the past five races.

Herta's team manager, George Klotz, believes the data Herta and Kanaan acquired during their recent test at Kentucky, could be the difference-maker.

"We're coming off of a really good test at Kentucky," says Klotz. "Bryan was really happy with the XM Satellite Radio car and we're going to leave it exactly the same as it was when we left the test. We're hoping to start off the weekend on the right foot and finish it with Bryan's first win of 2004."

Dan Wheldon, who trails Rice by 32 points and Kanaan by 89, will be looking for his third IRL IndyCar Series win of the year this weekend.

"I'm certainly looking forward to this weekend's race at Kentucky," stated the cheery Englishman. "Our Klein Tools/Jim Beam crew is hungry for another win. We just need to focus on finding the best race package we can. My teammates came away from last week's test with some great information and a really good feel for the track, so I'm confident we'll have all the information we need to be very competitive."

The driver of the #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Honda-powered Dallara has been competitive almost everywhere else so far this year, leading 312 laps so far this season, which ranks second in the series.

For Kanaan, who showed more frustration and disappointment at his Michigan loss than at any other time in his IRL IndyCar Series career to date, his goal for the Kentucky weekend is simple: Win.

"I'm going to Kentucky with one thing on my mind: to win the race," stated the Brazilian grimly. "I still have a long way to go until the end of the championship, and I'm taking everything race by race. I want to keep my momentum and score as many points as possible."

Kanaan has completed all 2,055 race laps run this season, making him the only IndyCar Series driver to have completed every lap and he also remains the only driver to have started and finished inside the top ten in all ten races run to date this year.

Kanaan's 657 laps led this season are also the most of any IndyCar Series driver and, like Klotz, Kanaan's race engineer Eric Cowdin believes Kanaan's recent test at Kentucky could prove vital.

"We are coming off a very good test at Kentucky," he said. "With testing opportunities being limited this year, having a successful test prior to a race is a big advantage; the driver has the track fresh in his mind, he knows where the car is at and is able to give us good information to start the weekend. We're just going to take it race by race, try to qualify up front and go after a race win."

For Milwaukee winner Franchitti, this weekend marks his first competitive outing at Kentucky, the Scotsman having missed last year's race with his back injury. However, after finally breaking his IRL victory duck, the former Champ Car World Series Championship runner-up is looking forward to his latest challenge.

"I'm looking forward to racing at Kentucky Speedway," he stated. "This will be the first time I've competed there, but the ArcaEx team has performed well on the 1.5 mile ovals thus far, and the Andretti Green Racing team had a successful test at Kentucky Speedway last week. Being a two-day event, we'll need to be quick from the start, but I believe we have a good baseline from which to begin."

Franchitti's race engineer Allen McDonald feels that Franchitti is in line for a god weekend, sentiments that could be applied to the whole outfit.

"Building from the baseline that we have, I'm sure we'll have a good race weekend."