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IndyCar Series: Meijer Indy 300 presented by Coca-Cola and Edy's

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Meijer Indy 300 presented by Coca-Cola and Edy's

IndyCar Series: Meijer Indy 300 presented by Coca-Cola and Edy's

Tony Kanaan
August 11, 2007


THE MODERATOR: Guys, thank you. Congratulations.
We're with race winner, Tony Kanaan. Two in a row.
TONY KANAAN: It was a great night for us, as a team obviously having Dario flying again, it wasn't really good. I thought we were going to fly out of here because he's a helicopter pilot, but not that way. Glad he's okay.
Great, great job. My guys worked so hard. You know, obviously since Indy, we've been having a lot of ups and downs. We kept the spirits up. Here we go.
I mean, a special weekend for me, for myself. It was my dad's birthday yesterday. He's not around any more, so pretty touching. I'm glad that I got a win for him. Tomorrow is Father's Day in Brazil. I'm a father-to-be. My wife better give me a good gift tomorrow (laughter).
THE MODERATOR: Questions for T.K.

Q. (No microphone.)
TONY KANAAN: Obviously the car that is leading, it always has an advantage. When he was leading, I knew I was a little bit stronger than him. But obviously we play some team tactics. I mean, I kept behind him so we could pull away from people. Then we were going to play at the end of the race. I was basically at that point protecting him. I had no intentions to pass him at all.
I think his car went to a little bit more understeer than mine. On the restart, when I was able to pass Dixon, I don't think he was quite as fast as Dixie. So at that point I was able to pull away because they kept fighting with each other. When you run side by side, you're definitely slower than the car in front. That's what happened.

Q. How was the driving this week compared to last week?
TONY KANAAN: Night and day. I mean, obviously wasn't a pack race, so it made it a little easier. But still some crazy moves out there. I don't know what you guys saw. I touched with a lap car or the lap car touched me. I don't know. I mean, but it was much better, I have to say.
After Brian Barnhart put everybody under probation, I would say I think we calmed down a little bit.

Q. (No microphone.)
TONY KANAAN: It was the story of our life, isn't it? He will never go away. I've been in too much -- actually, the whole league the past few weeks, since Watkins Glen, we've been having good presses, but we've been in the press for the wrong reason, so I don't want to create any more.
I'm definitely going to have a chat in Portuguese with him so you guys won't understand what I say. I'm not happy about it, I have to say that. I don't know what he was thinking. But we'll talk. We'll sort it out.
We only know each other for 23 years, so I guess it's like a marriage. We're going to get home and talk about it.

Q. (No microphone.)
TONY KANAAN: Again, I compare to Indianapolis. Nobody was thinking about Dario and Dixon. They all talk about me and Hornish and Helio. And look what happened? They finish 1-2. Everybody's talking about Dario and Dixon, and nobody's talking about me, so I like that. I like that. I don't have that pressure. I still have no pressure.
I think it's going to be really hard for me to win this championship. The best thing I can do is keep winning races and see what's going to happen. From now on, they being chased by me. I've been in that position before. I would say for me, just keep doing what we doing and then we'll see.

Q. (No microphone.)
TONY KANAAN: No, not at all. I think I still -- I still want my team to win this championship. If it's going to be with me or Dario, we need to win this championship. I will do whatever it takes, if I need to help my teammate to do that, and I think vice versa. So right now the focus is get Andretti Green to win another championship.

Q. (No microphone.)
TONY KANAAN: That's a good point. I don't know. I think, you know, we've been very strong week in and week out. It's just the way racing is, you know. I mean, I had plenty of bad days. Scott had a few. Dario had two weekends in a row.
Really, I don't know. If we're going -- if somebody makes a calendar, I think Scott should be in June and Dario in July and I should be August basically (laughter).

Q. (No microphone.)
TONY KANAAN: Not really because at that point, if you saw me, I was trying to of move up to try to pull Dario with me and help him out. I couldn't do it. I couldn't do it. Actually I start to run too high and slow down. At one point, I say, Well, guys, you're big boys, you guys can fight, I'm going away. I don't like to fight. I want the easy life. Then I went back down. That's when I took off. Obviously, they kept fighting for position. Side by side is definitely slower and I was able to pull away.
I have to say was a nice picture in my mirror when I saw them getting smaller and smaller and smaller.

Q. (No microphone.)
TONY KANAAN: No. I mean, how can you say something wrong? Dario didn't know it was a checker. I don't know what happened to Danica. I have no idea.

Q. (No microphone.)
TONY KANAAN: Oh, okay. Then there's your answer right there. You can't drive with a blowed tire. It's not something weird happened. I mean, the car didn't explode on his own.

Q. (No microphone.)
TONY KANAAN: Well, I understand. Gets toward the end of the season, everybody's pushing. She's pushing to win a race. Dario, last lap, he's trying to gain a couple of positions because Dixon is second. It's getting towards the end of the season, and people, they see they have less and less. One weekend more, it's one less chance you have to win, so people are trying everything. Some people have a tendency to get desperate, I guess. That's what happens.

Q. (No microphone.)
TONY KANAAN: I did not have breakfast and lunch that day probably. I have no idea. I mean, we came here and test. My teammates had the same car. But it happens. I mean, it's mystery of racing sometimes. Look at Michigan. Dario and I had the same car, and he was flying.
I don't know. The only thing I can tell you, this is my Kansas car, it was my Kansas setup. We were very strong in Kansas until we had the incident in the pits. I think maybe I like to drive a type of car here that it's a little bit at the edge, and some people don't like the way I drive the car. That's probably the advantage.

Q. (No microphone.)
TONY KANAAN: No, actually we work really hard. Even in Kansas, we struggle in the past, although I had won a race there. So, you know, over the years we tire tested a lot, so we developed a different tire. And I think the tire suit our setup a little better, and that helped.
I would say, you know, it's more a coincidence than anything. We found a way to go in Kansas that I think we thought was going to work here, and it did. I like that because everybody count us out here. Our best result I think was a fifth as a team. Like I said out there, I like to change the odds a little bit.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much, T.K.
Eight points between first and second place, 52 between first and third place. This is Kanaan's fourth win of the season, his 11th of his career. 15th time in league history a driver has won back-to-back races. This is Andretti Green's 30th win in the IndyCar Series.
Thank you all very much.

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