Skip to content

Pocono throws Indy 500 champ Kanaan a rare learning curve

Jul 5, 2013, 1:00 PM EST

Tony Kanaan AP

There’s little Tony Kanaan of KV Racing Technology – SH has yet to experience in his illustrious IZOD IndyCar Series career.

But until the last couple weeks, Pocono Raceway in an IndyCar was one of them.

“TK” was one of 14 drivers to test last week after Iowa in the No. 11 Sunoco/”Turbo” Chevrolet ahead of this weekend’s Pocono INDYCAR 400 Fueled by Sunoco. He and the team took relative “big swings” a week ago – as much tweaking as can be done within the confines of IndyCar’s current spec Dallara DW12 chassis.

“Of course, we tried a bunch of things last week. We used last week’s test for the things I call the big things. Things that will take a long time to change,” said the Indianapolis 500 champion. “I can’t get into much detail but they’re changes in the car that will take a couple hours sometimes for you to figure out. And we had a list of three of those that I went through during that day and then we went back to the shop to evaluate those and chose the best that we thought when we came back. It was definitely helpful.”

Kanaan, who ended Thursday’s test day second at 219.802 in 124 laps, adds Pocono to the list of nearly 50 race circuits he’s competed on since his rookie year in CART of 1998.

“The biggest thing I would say for me is it took me (so long); you know it’s funny I have been in America for so long now and racing in INDYCAR for 14 years, you figured you have learned every single track and you’ve been to every single track,” said Kanaan. “And all of the sudden we came to a track that I hadn’t raced yet. It took me a little while to learn the track. They don’t call it the tricky tri-oval for nothing. I got here, I drove my rental car around and said ‘Eh, it’s not that bad.’ And then I got in my Indy car and I’m like ‘OK.’ So it took me a few laps to get the confidence and to learn a lit bit about this track.”

Kanaan finished in the top three in both prior races in the Sunoco and “Turbo” colors. No pressure, then, this weekend given the implications and that a win in the second leg of the Fuzzy’s Triple Crown could give him a shot at $1 million in October .

Latest Posts
  1. McLaren goes back to the future, but can it return to its heyday?

    Jan 29, 2015, 3:30 PM EST

    McLaren-Honda Announces New Driver Line-Up For 2015 Getty Images

    Fernando Alonso and Honda return to McLaren for 2015, but will it prove to be a winning partnership?

  2. Larson not disappointed he won’t drive No. 24

    Jan 29, 2015, 2:41 PM EST

    Klye Larson, Jeff Gordon Klye Larson, Jeff Gordon

    Although he grew up a Jeff Gordon fan and was counseled by Gordon on his future, Kyle Larson will watch someone else drive the No. 24.

  3. One look at his wrist and Kyle Larson says it’s time to win races and Sprint Cup crown

    Jan 29, 2015, 2:35 PM EST

    Kyle larson rolex 24 2015 ap AP

    Fresh off a team win in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Kyle Larson not only is keeping time better, he says it’s also time to win some races and contend for the Sprint Cup championship in 2015.

  4. Magnussen pushing for swift return to a full-time F1 seat

    Jan 29, 2015, 2:00 PM EST

    Kevin Magnussen AP

    Danish driver hopes a year in a reserve role at McLaren will help him get back into a full-time F1 seat in 2016.

  5. Column: Chase Elliott’s promotion perfectly timed for NASCAR

    Jan 29, 2015, 1:52 PM EST

    VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200

    The 2014 Xfinity Series champion is announced as Jeff Gordon’s successor a day before his father, Bill Elliott, is inducted in the Hall of Fame.

  6. GP3 champion Alex Lynn joins Williams as development driver

    Jan 29, 2015, 1:00 PM EST

    © GP3 Media Service © GP3 Media Service

    British youngster will combine this role with a full season in GP2 with DAMS.

  7. Chase Elliott will replace Jeff Gordon as No. 24 driver next season

    Jan 29, 2015, 12:10 PM EST

    Chase Elliott Chase Elliott

    The 2014 Xfinity Series champion will make his Sprint Cup debut in March before moving full time to NASCAR’s premier series in 2016.

  8. Dover Motorsports Inc. releases earnings report, sets sale of Nashville Superspeedway for end of February

    Jan 29, 2015, 11:51 AM EST

    Dover Motorsports INc. logo

    Dover Motorsports Inc., one of only two independent track ownership groups in NASCAR, released its fourth quarter and yearly earnings report on Thursday. That included significant news on the pending sale of the DMI-owned Nashville Superspeedway.

  9. Button confident experienced McLaren line-up will pay off

    Jan 29, 2015, 11:30 AM EST

    McLaren-Honda MP4-30 Car Launch Getty Images

    With 500 race starts between Button and new teammate Fernando Alonso, McLaren certainly isn’t short of experience in 2015.

  10. RCR seeks wins, momentum carryover into 2015

    Jan 29, 2015, 11:20 AM EST

    RCdillon15 AP

    After a winless 2014, wins are the priority for Richard Childress Racing in 2015.

  11. Mercedes releases first footage of W06 Hybrid (VIDEOS)

    Jan 29, 2015, 11:00 AM EST

    German F1 Grand Prix - Previews Getty Images

    Nico Rosberg takes the new Mercedes for a spin at Silverstone, and the team is not afraid to show it off.

  12. Truex’s girlfriend passes milestone in cancer recovery

    Jan 29, 2015, 10:59 AM EST

    Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts Getty Images

    Sherry Pollex, girlfriend of Martin Truex Jr., passes milestone in recovery from ovarian cancer.

  13. Truex sees brighter days ahead both on, off-track in 2015

    Jan 29, 2015, 10:35 AM EST

    Martin Truex Jr. has high expectations for his second season with Furniture Row Racing in 2015. Getty Images

    Having gone through some professional and personal struggles in 2014, Martin Truex expects a much better second season with Furniture Row Racing in 2015.

  14. Alonso: I’ve never felt better or more motivated

    Jan 29, 2015, 10:30 AM EST

    McLaren-Honda Announces New Driver Line-Up For 2015 Getty Images

    As McLaren reveals its new car, Fernando Alonso looks ahead to the beginning of a new era for the British team.

  15. Pirelli: 2015 F1 tires an evolution of last year’s compounds

    Jan 29, 2015, 9:30 AM EST

    F1 Testing in Bahrain - Day Two Getty Images

    Motorsport director Paul Hembery announces that there will be just one design overhaul of the existing compounds.

  16. Toro Rosso releases first teaser of STR10 car (VIDEO)

    Jan 29, 2015, 8:30 AM EST

    F1 Testing Getty Images

    The Italian team will launch its 2015 car on Saturday ahead of the first winter test in Jerez.

  17. McLaren reveals Honda-powered MP4-30 for 2015 F1 season

    Jan 29, 2015, 7:16 AM EST

    © McLaren © McLaren

    Team reveals a slick new look car in an online launch ahead of the 2015 season.

  18. NASCAR on NBC’s Jeff Burton partakes in Twitter Q&A

    Jan 28, 2015, 9:34 PM EST

    Jeff Burton AP

    NASCAR on NBC’s Jeff Burton reaches out to fans during an impromptu Twitter Q&A.

  19. Hinchcliffe on Mazda’s year-on-year growth: “It’s night and day”

    Jan 28, 2015, 7:30 PM EST

    HinchMazda AP

    IndyCar’s James Hinchcliffe raves about the year-on-year improvements by the SpeedSource Mazda program.

Video from NASCAR America

Ryan Blaney wants to make noise in '15
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. J. Gordon (1950)
  2. J. Clements (1439)
  3. K. Schrader (1423)
  4. K. Grala (1306)
  5. M. Waltrip (1298)
  1. M. Lira (1272)
  2. K. Larson (1269)
  3. R. Hornaday Jr. (1209)
  4. B. Vickers (1121)
  5. J. McMurray (1081)