LONG BEACH, Calif – Its now been five long years since AJ Foyt Racing has gone to victory lane in a Verizon IndyCar Series race. The last time was Takuma Sato at Long Beach in 2013. While they weren’t thinking win on Sunday, a top 10 finish is just what the doctor ordered.
The team is rebuilding still. This year they brought in two new drivers for a second straight season. The last three years saw a new engineering department and six new drivers for the organization. 2018 was about growth.
So far, it’s working.
Tony Kanaan was brought in to change the culture of this program. Just get top 10’s was the ultimate goal. After three races, Kanaan’s worst finish is 11th.
The popular Brazilian brought his No. 14 Chevrolet home eighth in Sunday’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. He finished eighth last weekend in Phoenix too. In St. Pete, he had speed but finished 11th.
Still, seventh to 11th is where they’re living right now. They’ll take it.
“Another top 10 – that’s what we wanted,” Kanaan said on Sunday after the race. “The boys have been getting better on the stops and the car was pretty decent all day. We passed a lot of cars. We got caught on that yellow but unfortunately, that’s just the way it is. Some days it works in your favor, other days it doesn’t. But I’m pleased. We’re building something really cool here and I’m not talking just about results, I’m talking about through all the struggles we’ve been having, it’s making us as people a lot tighter. Everybody is going to want to come drive for A.J. (Foyt) eventually not just because of the results, but because of the people that we have.”
Kanaan, was ninth, 12th and ninth respectively in the three practice sessions around the 1.968-mile road course this weekend. He qualified 11th.
So far, he’s started 10th, ninth and 11th in the three races in 2018.
He’s consistent and not crashing. That’s trending in the right direction at the right time.