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IZOD IndyCar Series: Iowa Corn Indy 250 Presented by Pioneer

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Iowa Corn Indy 250 Presented by Pioneer

IZOD IndyCar Series: Iowa Corn Indy 250 Presented by Pioneer

Tony Kanaan
June 25, 2011


THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much. Congratulations on the podium. We'll see you in Toronto.
We're pleased to be joined by Tony Kanaan of KV Racing Technology who finished second tonight. This is the best finish of the season for Tony. Let's get to it. Talk about that battle with your old friend Marco.
TONY KANAAN: It was a great race. I don't think we quite had the car. I chose to start with a lot of downforce and felt that we had a top three car. After the last stop, I kind of sat back the whole race, just watched Dario. Dario was really strong, let a couple people by and just sat there, and I said, we'll wait until it's time to go, and it was time to go, and all of a sudden I got a great start and get behind Marco and then we're racing.
It was pretty fun. Seven laps to go, he protected himself pretty good. That's part of racing. It's for the win, so it's all good. I would have done the same, I think. It was quite a battle there. If I hadn't lifted I think we were both going to end up in the wall.
Great race. I'm happy for him. I think when you win one race and it takes you another four years to win one, it's probably a relief, and for us, a great result, we move to fourth in the championship, the best result for the team ever. Still trying to give them a win, but looks like it's coming, so eventually we'll make it happen.

Q. Since there were so many of those back-and-forths, what was it specifically that Marco did that you weren't happy with?
TONY KANAAN: It's not that I'm not happy, it's just -- yeah, well, obviously we ran the low line the whole time. The lower line was quicker, and I set him up, he came out of 4 a little high, and I came to the bottom. And what happens is you can't say it's a block because he gave me space for a car, but coming into turn 1 that tight all the way on the white line, there was no way I was going to turn. I was going to actually start to wash up a little bit. And what he did, he just stayed there; he didn't give me any space, so I had to lift.
You know, like I said, it's not a block. He did exactly what he needed to do to win the race. It was just -- I needed it to be at least one wheel ahead of him to be able to pull that off, and when I made the move, I didn't go further enough, and then I had to lift, and after that I knew the race was over. I was pretty happy with second place then.

Q. You were Marco's teammate when he won his previous race and there were a lot of people that kind of credited circumstances toward the end of the race for helping him win, but I guess on a night like this he definitely earned it.
TONY KANAAN: Oh, definitely. I think you need to forget about the first race and think about the second. If anybody had a doubt that he could win a race, if they watched the race today, he won it fair and square. I think he deserved it and he had a good car. He was strong all night long.
I was watching the leaderboard. We had plenty of yellow flags in the beginning, so every lap I was just watching and looking who was there, and he was always in the top 10. You know, it was a great effort for him.

Q. Having been with Marco so long, I wonder if you could tell us a little bit about maybe how much this means to him having gone five years without a win.
TONY KANAAN: I think it's a big relief for him, for Michael. I mean, Michael, obviously it's his son who's been pushing pretty hard to have Marco to succeed, and he's giving Marco everything he can as far as equipment, team, personnel to make the kid successful, and it paid off today. Hopefully, like I said -- I told him at the podium, hopefully it won't take another five years for you to win another one.
You know, he's been driving great, and he got it. That's not a lot to talk about. I think the kid proved that he can win. Now he did his second one. I told him, now it's just a matter of getting more.

Q. Talk about the team right now. A pole this weekend for KV, a second place finish. What's going on that they're gelling so well?
TONY KANAAN: I don't know. I mean, my off-season made me pretty sad and motivated me even more to be able to push myself to the limit. I think the team, if I remember right, when they first game to the series with Oriol and Will, they were pretty strong, then they had a couple hiccups and the past few years they're throwing equipment back and forth, which didn't help them at all.
I think when we were able to put a deal together five days before the first race, with my experience, things that I know that I want from the car, together with what they already had, because it is the same car that we had four years ago, it was a great combination. It's Takuma's second year, he's not a rookie anymore, he's fast, he knows what he needs from the car, so we're just developing more and more confidence on the team.
For me to be able to come in -- if you had asked me if I was going to be sitting fourth in the championship right now with two podiums missing every single winter test, I was going to say you guys are dreaming. So extremely pleased with the team.
I didn't feel I had to prove a point to anybody about the misfortune that happened in the off-season with us and going away with no contract and not having a job. I'm just having a lot of fun, enjoying a lot of my time with the team. Now I probably realize it was time for a change, just for some reason it is different, for some reason I'm having more fun than I used to. I don't think I can get into details why, but I just think that it's different. It's a different atmosphere, and after a long time I think it was good for both parties.
Look at the team; they won two races this year already. We only won two races last year and they still have plenty of races to do.
Look at me, it's been a while that I've been top four in the championship. What it is, I don't know, but whatever we have, it's been pretty good.

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