By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief
INDIANAPOLIS – Tony Kanaan struggled during his first and only attempt to break into the Fast Nine Shootout during qualifying on Saturday.
The 41-year-old had an early draw and could only muster a four lap average of 227.679 mph with his No. 10 NTT Data Chevrolet. Regardless of the pace set in qualifying, Kanaan mentioned that the race-ability of the cars felt the same as last year.
“I think for what I’ve seen, it’s pretty similar to last year,” Kanaan said. “You’re going to see the leaders always exposed, and that’s the way it has been for the past five years. So I would say, you know, it’s not going to be any different than it was last year, which I think for the fans it was a great race. So not necessarily it’s a good thing for the leader, but you want to be in second place on the last lap, that’s for sure.”
The lack of pace is something that sent shockwaves throughout the entire team. For the second time in the last three years, Chip Ganassi Racing failed to have a car with a shot at pole in the Fast Nine Shootout on Sunday.
With the overnight rain clearing out and all the grip washed from the track, conditions were far from ideal when Kanaan went out.
“Conditions are tough and obviously it was nowhere near where we wanted to be, but we had to be a little bit conservative on this first attempt. I knew that we…you know, we struggled in the morning (practice), we struggled yesterday. So I’ve been around way too long to just say, ‘You know what? Let’s put it on the line today.’ It’s a long day. We’re running until 7:00, so we have plenty of other attempts to make it right. If we don’t make it right, I’ll make it right next weekend. That’s when it counts. I’m confident that we’ll get it better today.”
Image: Chris Owens/INDYCAR