Kanaan, in the #11 Sunoco “Turbo” – KV Racing – SH Racing Chevrolet/Firestone machine, qualified eighth, but started fifth after penalties were assessed to several cars for unauthorized engine changes. The 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner was running in fourth position when he made his first stop on lap 40. During the stop the Sunoco – KVRT – SH Racing crew did an outstanding job addressing several issues that were affecting the performance of the car. Kanaan rejoined the contest in ninth place and held station for most of the second stint, He moved into sixth just prior to his second stop re-emerging in ninth place. He dropped to 12th when the team strategically pitted him during a caution period on lap 142. The strategy paid off when the leaders pitted much later moving Kanaan into second place and with a low load of fuel and skillful driving he was able to gain significant track position. Kanaan made his final stop on lap 210 where the earlier strategy again paid off by allowing the team to short fill the car and give Kanaan fresh tires for a final run at a podium finish. He came back out in sixth place and quickly charged into fourth. Over the final 30 plus laps Kanaan engaged in a fierce battle with Graham Rahal for third and with fresher tires was able to overtake his rival with six laps remaining. In the closing laps of the race Kanaan was pressing Ryan Hunter-Reay for second, but simply ran out of time. Kanaan earned 35 points for the podium finish and got three points for his qualifying performance yesterday giving him a total 253 putting in fifth place in the championship race just 13 out of fourth.
Commenting on today’s race Kanaan said, “First I have to thank the entire Sunoco – KV Racing Technology – SH Racing team. They did a great job today. We had some issues early in the race with the car, but we were able to work around them. The pit stops and strategy were great and we fought hard to earn this podium finish. I also want to thank Chevrolet and Firestone for their work. It was a great effort by everyone and a great race. This is my second race in the Sunoco car and a second podium for us. I want to keep that momentum going into Pocono, which we will have the Sunoco car again and will be the second leg of the triple- crown.”
The team now travels Pocono for a private test. IndyCar will be racing at Pocono Raceway on July 7th for the first time since 1984. The race will air live on ABC. Race start is 12:15 p.m. ET.