Kanaan Thrilled With 10th Place Qualifying Effort

INDIANAPOLIS – Fan favorite Ed Carpenter won the pole for next Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 (11 a.m. ET/ABC/INDYCAR Radio Network). The other big fan favorite was quickest in the other round of qualifying on Sunday, as Tony Kanaan will start 10th in the May 27 race. Kanaan, turned a blazing four-lap average of 227.644 mph in his No. 14 Chevrolet, which was good enough to be fastest in the first group.

That has the popular Brazilan very proud of the AJ Foyt Racing teams efforts. Kanaan, has been fast all month here and this is validation for that. But, he also was a little bit bummed to because the weather on Saturday cost him a shot at a better starting spot. See, if not for the rain delays, Kanaan likely had a car to make the Firestone Fast Nine. If so, he’d be starting eighth due to his overall time against everyone else’s this afternoon. 

“I feel pretty good,” a happy Kanaan said. “Yesterday was a shame. I’ve benefitted many years from weather conditions and yesterday I got hurt. What had happened was we were supposed to qualify around 1 o’clock. So, we geared for the wind and temperatures at 1 o’clock. With the two rain delays we ended up qualifying at 4. The change in my gears were too tall so we missed the Fast Nine for so little. Unfortunately, that was the case yesterday. For us today it was to put the cars the next best row up and we’re starting next to each other. I told the rookie (Matheus Leist) that if you’re gonna beat me, I don’t want to start in the middle. If you’re going to beat me, either put me on the outside or leave me alone. He did. He was good. It was a great team effort.

“A team like us able to beat the big guys, apart from Penske and Carpenter right now, we beat some pretty big budget teams, it makes me pretty proud and I know it makes AJ happy.”

Now, Kanaan shifts his focus to race day as he says his race car is really good. This could be the best year for AJ Foyt Racing in decades. Kanaan’s rookie teammate Matheus Leist starts alongside in 11th after a four-lap run of 227.571 mph himself.

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