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Jul 22, 2014 - 06:51 AM
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Kanaan Turning Early Season Struggles Around
Posted by: BGerhart on Jul 22, 2014 - 06:47 AM
Feature Articles
Kanaan Turning Early Season Struggles Around


By Brad Gerhart

In what started out as pure frustration for Tony Kanaan ended with a hard fought podium turn around.

During the initial lap of the second Honda Indy Toronto race of the day (yes day, not weekend), Kanaan “made a little mistake on the start. I got too excited,” he said and did not make it through turn three after the long Lake Shore stretch. The incident threw him from ninth on the starting grid to dead last of the Verizon IndyCar field.

Like the oncoming weather, things looked fairly dismal for Kanaan. However, the Brazilian kept his cool and focus through all the carnage and changing weather while he kept himself relatively clean throughout the timed (1 hour 20 minutes) 56 lap race (originally scheduled for 65 earlier in the day).

 

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“Toward the end, adjusting to the rain tires helped me out a bit to hang on to second place. I didn't have anything for Mike (Conway). Great weekend for us, great weekend for Chevy, getting on the podium twice here in Toronto,” Kanaan said.

Even though the Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver has yet to win since he took over from now retired Dario Franchitti this season, he has placed on the podium the three past races (third at Iowa, third and second in Toronto this weekend). In the 11 previous races the 2013 Indy 500 champion could only manage one top-five finish, a podium third in Detroit. “I had a big responsibility at the beginning of the year replacing Dario (Franchitti). That team was built around him,” said Kanaan. “It was very unexpected, his retirement, so it takes time. Takes time to get to know people, takes time to get, you know, the chemistry together.”

Before the Toronto doubleheader weekend began Kanaan sat 10th in the points with 305. Now, after two podiums Kanaan cut into Castroneves lead to 153 points. (Castroneves placed second and 12th in Toronto).

Although a clear and comforting presence can be seen with his new team, it more than likely is too little too late with only four races left in the 2014 IndyCar season (Mid-Ohio, Milwaukee, Sonoma and Fontana). Nevertheless, Kanaan will surely keep the pressure on and hope for the best in the closing stages of the season. “Unfortunately, time is not what we have the luxury to have in racing. So, hopefully we can keep the momentum up and finish the season strong,” he said. His happy-go-lucky personality should keep his spirits high and perhaps he can finally get that well deserved victory for not only himself but the entire Target Chip Ganassi Racing team as well.

Like Kanaan said:

“You have to believe. You can't give up. We're here racing.”


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