Tony Kanaan Breaks Up Penske Party With A Third Place Finish

While Team Penske dominated the weekend at St. Petersburg, it was Tony Kanaan that came in to split up the party, finishing third in the middle of a 1-2-4-5 Penske finish.

“All in all I think was a good weekend for us,” he commented. “Obviously Penske dominated qualifying.  We were able to break up the 1-2-3-4 today.  I was glad we were able to do that.  But they definitely did a very good job in the race.  They had a pretty good pace.  We couldn’t catch them.”

A lot of people have pinned the season already to be a Penske dominated year, which is something that Kanaan recognizes, saying they are “ridiculously good everywhere”.

“They don’t mess around,” Kanaan spoke of the organization. “They’re here to win races, just like Chip.  That’s all they want. I think year after year they keep increasing the quality of their people.  They add another driver this year, which obviously makes those other guys to push each other.”

Kanaan added that there’s no special secret, as it’s just putting a good organization together with the best people that you can get paired with really good drivers to increase your chances of winning.

“I think they’re dialed in,” he continued. “It’s up to us to try to break that, like we did today.  They’re definitely the guys to beat.”

Along those lines, Kanaan feels that the gap that Penske currently holds should close in the coming weeks, when the teams go to the tracks that they’ve tested at pre-season, like NOLA Motorsports Park and Barber Motorsports Park.

“We know they’re going to be strong all year. We can’t let the results like that go away.  We’re going to have to step it up,” he stated. “They have a very good team.  I know how it feels.  I’ve been on a team like that many years ago.  For us it was great.  We made everybody else mad.”

While driving for Andretti, Kanaan was part of a 1-2-3-4 at St. Petersburg. One of the drivers on that team was Dan Wheldon.

“I said, You know what, that was so great with Dan.  We shouldn’t allow that to happen yet,” Kanaan said. “I was glad that we didn’t.”

For his first race with the new manufacture based aerokits, the Brazilin was pleased, saying that they made the racing a lot of closer throughout the field.

“I couldn’t believe that that was going to happen,” he commented. “Of course, when you add more flaps and more wings, the chances to see more pieces flying are greater. In a way I think it’s a good thing.  In the past I think we had too much of a strong cars, that we would use that against each other, nothing would happen.  Nowadays you’re going to have to think about what to do.”

Though the close racing also had some drawbacks, with pieces of debris scattered around the racing surface, resulting in three separate debris cautions.

“You know, you’re not supposed to hit anybody, man,” Kanaan said. “It’s open-wheel.  It’s not stockcar or touring car racing.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of



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