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Sep 14, 2012 - 06:28 AM
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2012 Fontana: KV Racing IndyCar Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Sep 14, 2012 - 06:24 AM
IndyCar Weekend Team Reports
2012 Fontana: KV Racing IndyCar Race Preview


KV Racing Technology drivers Tony Kanaan, Rubens Barrichello and E. J. Viso all have a lot at stake heading into the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season finale, the MAVTV 500, September 14-15, at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.

 

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Kanaan, who pilots the No. 11 GEICO | MOUSER ELECTRONICS – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone machine, has the most to gain of the KVRT trio. The 37-year-old Brazilian is currently eighth in the championship race with 339 points, 33 out of fifth on the strength of eight top-10 finishes including seven top-six showings with three podium performances (season-high second at Milwaukee and thirds at Iowa and Indy). In his nine previous full IndyCar seasons the always popular Kanaan has never finished lower than sixth in the championship race. Kanaan is also in a tie with Ryan Hunter-Reay with 136 points for the A. J. Foyt oval championship which goes to the driver with the most points in the five (Fontana being the last) oval races this year. With Hunter-Reay holding the tie-breaker based on his four wins this year it is imperative that Kanaan finishes ahead of his rival. Fortunately for Kanaan he has had a lot of experience on the two-mile Auto Club super-speedway oval having competed here eight times earning six top-10 finishes including five top-five showings with three podiums. Despite never winning at Fontana he was runner up in his last two events here (2004 and 2005). Additionally, Kanaan clinched both the 1997 Indy Lights title and the 2004 IndyCar championship here.

“I have never lost a championship race in Fontana,” Kanaan said. “I have had some success here finishing second a couple of times and in the top-four a couple more. It would be great to get a win here not only for the championship race, but to insure that I win the A. J. Foyt oval championship. That would be an honor.”

Barrichello, in the No. 8 BMC | EMBRASE – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone entry, who is coming off back-to-back top-five finishes including a season-high fourth place showing at Sonoma (finished fifth at Baltimore), has vaulted six positions in the championship standings in the last two races and currently sits 11th with 277 points, just 28 out of 10th. The 40-year-old Brazilian has a legitimate shot at finishing 10th in his first IndyCar season particularly in light of how quickly he has picked up the nuances of oval racing. A veteran of 19 Formula One seasons, Barrichello has had seven top-10 performances in the first 13 races of his IndyCar career (DNS at Texas due to non-team related component problem) and despite competing on ovals for the first time ever has had some success. He finished seventh at Iowa, 10th at Milwaukee and 11th in the Indianapolis 500 where he earned the Chase Rookie of the Year Award.

Commenting on the upcoming oval event the international super-star said, “And here we are back to the ovals again...to be honest I had a great time on the ovals this year and I look forward to Fontana. From testing it looks like it is going to be good racing and I am looking to have a very good one so we can finish the season on a high note.”

Viso, behind the wheel of the No. 5 CITGO | PDVSA – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone car,
is 19th in the standings with 234 points. The talented and determined 27-year-old Venezuelan has finished 12 of 14 events with neither DNF being his fault, but has also been the victim of what can only be described as bad luck in several races which has affected his position in the standings. Despite the early season challenges Viso has persevered and scored four top-10 finishes this season including a season-high fifth on the oval at Milwaukee. Viso, who is in his fifth IndyCar season, but like Barrichello will be making his first start at Fontana, is just 33 points out of 11th place a gap he could easily bridge with a strong performance Saturday.

“I am looking forward to the final race of the season and competing on the oval at Fontana,” said Viso. We have been fast on all the ovals this year and hopefully we can continue to be fast and have a good result to end the season.”

KV RACING TECHNOLOGY NOTES:
Tony Kanaan will be attempting to make his 196th consecutive start this weekend. He is in second place on the all-time consecutive starts list behind KVRT co-owner Jimmy Vasser with 211. Kanaan holds the IndyCar consecutive start record, with 161.

The MAVTV 500 will be broadcast live on Saturday, September 15 on NBC Sports Network 8:30 p.m. ET

KV Racing Technology was founded in January 2003 and joined the IndyCar Series in 2008. The Indianapolis based team is owned by successful venture capitalist Kevin Kalkhoven and 1996 IndyCar Champion Jimmy Vasser. Veteran Motorsports manager, Mark Johnson, is the team’s General Manager. Johnson is assisted by Team Manager Tom Wurtz, Technical Director Eric Cowdin and Operations Manager Steve Moore.

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