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IZOD IndyCar Series: IZOD IndyCar World Championship Presented by Honda

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Open Wheel Racing Topics:  IZOD IndyCar World Championship Presented by Honda

IZOD IndyCar Series: IZOD IndyCar World Championship Presented by Honda

Tony Kanaan
October 14, 2011


LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

THE MODERATOR: We are joined by our pole sitter, Tony Kanaan. It's his fifth career IndyCar pole, first one in three years since he won at Richmond in 2008. Take us through your lap.
ORIOL SERVIA: Just one more thing. Funny enough, or not funny, just before qualifying, I sent a text to his team owner saying, "Tony has a rocketship." Unfortunately I was right.
TONY KANAAN: Well, we ran together in the morning. That's why you said that.
THE MODERATOR: Take us through your lap there.
TONY KANAAN: Well, I didn't do nothing, just kept it full throttle and turned left four times, and that was it. The car was good from the get-go. Obviously on this type of track you're relying a lot more on your engineers than yourself. Obviously when it comes to Sunday, that's what -- we come to play.
I had a great car from the get-go, and I'm happy that I could have done that. I didn't think I had a car to be on the pole to be honest with you, but I knew I had a good race car. This is a surprise for me, as well, but I'll take it.

Q. Is that far good enough to take you out front and hide from the pack?
TONY KANAAN: I don't know, I don't think anybody is going to hide from the pack, but it's plenty good that we can manage the advantage and just stay about the leaders, stay out of trouble. 34 cars, it's a lot of cars. That was a race, to disappoint some of my fans, they wanted to start me in the back and have me passing a lot of cars. I didn't want to do that because I think it's going to be -- especially the layout of the racetrack it's going to be quite crazy. It's tough to say, but I think I have a strong car.

Q. Tony, did the change in weather help you, hinder you? Did you notice anything different in the car?
TONY KANAAN: I didn't, but for sure when it goes cooler, it helps, like inside of that. So that was one of the factors for sure. The tendency of getting cloudier and cooler, the engine has more power. Drawing a late number definitely helped us a lot, and being delayed all day, as well, so for sure I had the advantage of the guys in the first ten positions of qualifying.
Finally I picked my qualifying draws in the oval this year, it was always in the top 5. So for the first time I picked almost dead last, so I was quite happy about that.

Q. You've been involved in championship races before, and it seems like today the two guys going for the title didn't really qualify that well. Kind of looking at their position and having been in it yourself in the past, what are these next few days like for them?
TONY KANAAN: Well, he's right here, so I can't bash him as much. But as an old person that has been around for a long time, I know this guy way too well to believe that he's nervous. I think he knows exactly what he needs to do, and obviously I am sure he's not happy where he's starting, and neither Will.
But I don't see a problem. Last weekend, two weekends ago, it wasn't a problem. I mean, he took off and went to the lead. Obviously they're going to have to be careful, and hopefully people on the grid will be smart enough to let these two guys play their championship, because that's what -- if they are not capable of being in the championship contention, I don't think they should take the championship contenders out of it. On my end I'll try to do my best and lead every lap and win the race and let you guys fight, and it will be fine.

Q. You've had a lot of success in this particular Dallara car. I wonder if you'll be sad to see it go.
TONY KANAAN: I don't know, I think it was time for a change. Nine years of a relationship, it's plenty. For me, for me, for me, with the car. Laura is here, I've got to be careful, or I'll sleep on the couch tonight. The race car.
It's sad to see it go because of the history. We won everything in this car. I had a deal with Jimmy that he would give me a car at the end of this year so I could keep it. But I think it's time for a change.



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