Kanaan rues missed Top 10 finish at Indy

The 2013 Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan was left stunned by a drop from potential Top 10 finish to going a lap down over the final stint in last Sunday's 104th running of the race. 

Kanaan rues missed Top 10 finish at Indy

The A.J. Foyt Racing entry of Kanaan had arguably made the most impressive gains by a Chevrolet driver for the majority of the race, climbing from 23rd on the grid into the top 10 by Lap 125. The Brazilian veteran’s famed restarts and slick work by the #14 pit crew saw him running ninth until making his final stop on Lap 168.

However, Kanaan then had to ease back in dramatic manner over the final 30 laps in order to make it to the finish without a further fuel top-up, and he thus fell to 19th and one lap down.

“I don’t know what to say,” said Kanaan whose final non-Indy races will come this weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway in Gateway. “We had a solid car, made a lot of positions on track and also in the pits. We went from 23rd all the way to eighth, I believe.

“But at the end I had to match a fuel number to make it to the checkered without a splash, and in order to do that I had to let a lot of cars go.

“I truly believe that we had a Top-10 car. We ran up there most of the race and it’s just disappointing that we had to settle for 19th.”

One of those drivers he had to let past was teammate Charlie Kimball who had started 29th. Like the stars who had started in the final third of the grid, Kimball switched to an alternate fuel strategy at the first caution period, only to find the hope it offered extinguished not long before half-distance when two consecutive caution periods totaling 16 laps obliged almost all cars to revert to the same strategy.

Having nevertheless climbed to 15th before the final stop, Kimball stalled as he left his pitbox and dropped to 22nd, ultimately working his way back to 18th.

“The car was quite a handful there in the middle of the race,” he said. “We found something, made it better, I think we were probably going to finish in the top 15, but… it was so hard to pass out there.

“The nice thing is the AJ Foyt Racing boys gave me a few spots in pit lane and then unfortunately I made a mistake in that last stop and gave it all back, but they were great and I could always count on going forward when I was coming into pit lane so that’s a big positive out of today.”

Rookie Dalton Kellett crashed the #41 Foyt entry while trying to pass Ben Hanley’s DragonSpeed car in Turn 3 on Lap 84.

“It was a disappointing race day for us," team president Larry Foyt admitted. "It had been a decent couple of weeks, the cars were handling really well and the drivers were happy, but… we had a tough qualifying and the Hondas did a really good job in qualifying so we were starting towards the back of the field and it’s just very tough to pass at Indy right now with all the turbulence.

"The guys were doing a good job and moving up… It just all unraveled late in the race on that last stint. Tony really struggled and Charlie stalled in the pits and that sealed our fate for the rest of the day.”

Charlie Kimball leads Rinus VeeKay and Sage Karam.

Charlie Kimball leads Rinus VeeKay and Sage Karam.

Photo by: Phillip Abbott / Motorsport Images

shares
comments
Both joy and heartache for Dale Coyne Racing in the Indy 500

Previous article

Both joy and heartache for Dale Coyne Racing in the Indy 500

Next article

Edwards "respectfully disagrees" with Rossi’s Indy 500 penalty

Edwards "respectfully disagrees" with Rossi’s Indy 500 penalty
Load comments
The winners and losers in IndyCar 2021 – Mid-season review Prime

The winners and losers in IndyCar 2021 – Mid-season review

At the halfway point in the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season, we've had seven winners in eight races, spread between five teams – none of them Team Penske. In this unusual season, even by IndyCar standards, who’s excelling and who’s dragging their heels? David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Jun 18, 2021
The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Prime

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021
Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history Prime

Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history

Helio Castroneves’ overwhelming vivaciousness outside the cockpit belies a hardcore racer who knows how to plot his moves – and then recall it all for us. A day after his fourth Indy 500 win, Helio explained his tactics to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Jun 2, 2021
How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status Prime

How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status

Helio Castroneves joined AJ Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears with the most Indianapolis 500 wins after sweeping around the outside of Alex Palou on the penultimate lap in a thrilling climax. In one race, he validated Michael Shank's and Jim Meyer's faith in him, and Helio himself discovered there's life after Penske after all.

IndyCar
Jun 1, 2021
Indy 500 preview: Will experience or youth be victorious? Prime

Indy 500 preview: Will experience or youth be victorious?

A quarter of the drivers racing in the 105th edition of the Indianapolis 500 are former winners - but are they the favourites? The veteran drivers largely impressed in qualifying - but there's also a plethora of young guns looking to secure victory at IndyCar's flagship race...

IndyCar
May 25, 2021
What will it take to get American drivers in Formula 1? Prime

What will it take to get American drivers in Formula 1?

The FIA says it wants American drivers in Formula 1, but would it take an IndyCar driver to transfer or does an American need to join the European junior ladder system to get there? By David Malsher-Lopez.

Formula 1
May 19, 2021
Why IndyCar is satisfying Grosjean’s appetite for his second life Prime

Why IndyCar is satisfying Grosjean’s appetite for his second life

After spending the majority of his 179-race Formula 1 career in middling to tail-end machinery, Romain Grosjean finds himself once again with an underdog team in IndyCar. While not without its challenges, he's relishing the more level playing field that means his Dale Coyne Racing crew can expect to claim a few scalps...

IndyCar
May 14, 2021
Why IndyCar's new aero parts should improve racing at Indy Prime

Why IndyCar's new aero parts should improve racing at Indy

Tino Belli, IndyCar’s director of aerodynamic development, believes the changes to the underside of the cars will allow them to run closer at Indy and make passes. The moment of truth comes on its biggest stage, writes David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
May 10, 2021