AJ Foyt Racing’s Tony Kanaan in the No.14 ABC Supply Chevrolet gave the team something to smile about following an extremely tough 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season as the Brazilian came from 20th place on the grid to finish in third place taking his first podium in two years with his last one coming in Texas in 2017.

Speaking following the race TK said:

Great night. We knew we had a strong car last night. Obviously, we missed in qualifying so I was a little frustrated but once we got to the front the car was fast. We played the strategy right, we got a little bit of luck on our side – finally – and once we got to the front, we showed them that we belong there. It wasn’t like, ‘Ah they got lucky.’ When we restarted, there were over 40 laps to go and nobody could touch us. It was an awesome result for us

The result is a fantastic boost for AJ Foyt Racing who scored their first NTT IndyCar Series podium since race two in Detroit in 2015 when Takuma Sato finished second.

Kanaan took part in a press conference following the race:

THE MODERATOR: We are joined by Tony Kanaan from A.J. Foyt Racing. Good to see you.
TONY KANAAN: Good to be here.
THE MODERATOR: Strong run for the 14 car. Has to be gratifying. Your first podium finish in two years.
TONY KANAAN: That’s a long time.
I told the boys on the cool-down lap, I probably remember where I had to stop my car.
Yeah, great result for us, great weekend. Overcoming a lot of adversities throughout the year. We’ve been hearing a lot of things, good things and bad things, some support, some people thinking we shouldn’t be doing this.
This is a great night for us. It paid off. When I joined A.J. Foyt Racing, it was to make this team better. We’ve been struggling quite a bit. This is a great night for us.
The boys did a great job. Now it proves it’s making us stronger, definitely. A result like this, it’s a huge boost for everybody. So happy.
THE MODERATOR: I would think that last restart you had a pretty good sniff at the lead, pretty excited.
TONY KANAAN: Yeah, (Takuma) Sato got a run on me on the restart. I think when he took off, obviously he was behind, people know how I restart, he got a little bit of an edge. After that I had to measure and decide what I wanted to do. Do I need to attack? Did I have anything to attack? If I was going to keep it in the podium, which is a great result for us…
Once he took off and opened a little bit of a lead, I said, I’m going to sit here and see what happens. I was waiting for him to hit traffic. Unfortunately when we all hit traffic, we all got in trouble. I got a little bit loose. Ed got me. It was one of those things.
I think we were strong. We had a great strategy. The Chevy and the fuel mileage we had, very, very good fuel mileage that actually got us to the point that we got lucky with that yellow.
Once we had the track position, the car was fast and we were able to perform.
THE MODERATOR: I take it that was fun?
TONY KANAAN: It’s always fun when you finish on the podium. It was a great race. First 50 laps I think it was a little boring. After that it got extremely exciting. Yeah, I had a lot of fun.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Tony.
Q. After qualifying yesterday you were quoted to say you’re struggling with oversteer. How was the car in the race?
TONY KANAAN: Qualifying yesterday was kind of weird. We had a bunch of oil dry on the track. The way we qualify nowadays is by championship points. I was the fourth car out.
We got loose. The car wasn’t very good. It was very frustrating. In the night session, the car was pretty decent. I was pretty happy. But I knew that track position was going to be everything.
I had a pretty good start, passed six cars on the start. Put ourselves in the top 13. I said, All right, let’s start racing from now on. Obviously we got a break. Once we got to the front, we were pretty strong.
Q. Maybe I’m wrong, I have the impression your cars came late concerning speed, lap 175 or 180. Were you struggling before?
TONY KANAAN: We race when it counts. Why do you want to waste your breath when it doesn’t count anything? 20 laps to go, we go.
Q. Tony, there’s been a lot of changes with Scott Harner come in to help Larry (Foyt) run the organization. Is this the first sign of a lot of that work coming together for the team?
TONY KANAAN: Yeah, I think Scott came in late, late February or March. Things are happening. They take time. We do have a great organization.
All credit to Larry. It’s nothing that we haven’t asked Larry to do that he hasn’t done for us. It’s on us. It’s on me. It’s on my engineer. It’s on Harner. It’s on the entire team.
ABC provided us every single tool with the sponsorship for us to perform and we haven’t done it. Slowly we turn it around. We brought Don Halliday back, which is a guy my first year here in America, ’96, he was engineering myself at Tasman. He came in to do some damage control. It’s been great.
Yes, it was a good result. Obviously let’s not get ahead of the game. We still have two races to go, still have a lot of work to do. I’ll take it, enjoy it tonight and go back to work tomorrow.
Q. What year was that with Tasman?
TONY KANAAN: ’96.
Q. How old were you?
TONY KANAAN: I’m 32 (laughter). You want to see my Brazilian passport?
The result gives AJ Foyt Racing a great platform to build on for the final two races of the season starting with Portland next weekend.
Share This