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IndyCar: Tough luck continues at Iowa for Tony Kanaan (VIDEO)

Jul 13, 2014, 1:15 AM EDT

In the last two Verizon IndyCar races at Pocono Raceway and Iowa Speedway, Tony Kanaan has led a combined total of 325 laps.

That’s even more impressive when you consider that from the 2011 season all the way through this year’s Houston doubleheader weekend, he paced a total of 231 laps.

But despite being the class of the field at both Pocono and Iowa these last couple of weeks, Kanaan is still searching for his first win since the 2013 Indianapolis 500 and his first win as a member of Chip Ganassi Racing.

It seemed sure to happen Saturday night in the Iowa Corn Indy 300. Notably strong during the longer green-flag runs, Kanaan and his No. 10 Target Chevrolet looked unbeatable and spent 247 laps at the front.

But he was ultimately the final victim of Ryan Hunter-Reay’s tremendous rush on fresh tires, which he grabbed during a caution on Lap 284.

With two laps remaining, Hunter-Reay roared by Kanaan to take the lead for good. Josef Newgarden, who also pitted on Lap 284 for tires, would get past Kanaan before the checkered flag as well.

“Strong result? Well, it was a good one,” said Kanaan, who appeared set for victory when he took the lead from teammate Scott Dixon with 37 laps to go. “What can I say? We had a good day. I mean, we lead 247 laps out of 300. I think we showed them what we had.

“At the end there, sometimes strategies and gambles play out. We got played. Fair enough. I’ve won races like that, too. I lost today. It’s just hard to take it. But I think to win races we got to run up front, and that’s what we’ve been doing in the past three races. We just got to keep doing that.”

But while Kanaan was disappointed about losing out, he remains hopeful that the big win will come soon now that he feels fully acclimated to the Ganassi team.

“It always takes a little bit to get a bunch of guys to synchronize and work together with a big change like it was,” he noted. “The driver is definitely the most important piece that holds the whole team together. So I feel comfortable now. They feel comfortable with me.

“I think I gained their trust. I think I proved we can win races. We’re slowly making big progresses, and I’m extremely comfortable there now. I hope I can give Chip his first win of the year so far, because it hasn’t been as good a year as we thought it was going to be.”

  1. worknman24hours - Jul 13, 2014 at 12:34 PM

    Not happy for Tony.

    Getting passed like he was standing still late in the race after owning the whole thing must have been gut wrenching.

    He’s on the edge of greatness near the front and ready to win.

    You’ll get them next time,Tony.

  2. rho1953 - Jul 13, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    Not tough luck, a poor call. A hard call to make for a guy leading the race, but worn tires cost him the race,not bad luck, unless you call the yellow flag bad luck. Races are won and lost by tough decisions in the pits. Tony is a great racer, he just got out-coached last night.

  3. techmeister1 - Jul 13, 2014 at 2:38 PM

    The outcome could have been much different. Andretti admitted they gambled and got lucky. It’s all about timing and when you get it right you look like a genius and when you don’t you look dumb. Kanaan effectively got robbed but it’s the nature of the game and happens often. It’s definitely unfair, it is what it is. You move on and hope the breaks eventually even out. Tony knows this and acknowledged it.

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