FT. WORTH, Tx. – June 9, 2012 – Despite extremely strong performances by Tony Kanaan and E. J. Viso, KV Racing Technology had a very frustrating Firestone 550 on the 1.5-mile D-shaped Texas Motor Speedway in Ft. Worth, Texas.
Tony Kanaan, behind the wheel of the No. 11 MOUSER ELECTRONICS | GEICO – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone car was running in third place when he was hit by Will Power late in the race damaging his front wing. He finished 11th. E. J. Viso piloted the No. 5 CITGO | PDVSA – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone machine from 15th on the grid into the top-six and was poised for his best finish of the season when his car suddenly lost power because of non-team related component failure. He placed 19th. Rubens Barrichello, in the No. 8 BMC | EMBRASE – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone entry, never even got off the starting grid also because of a non-team related part failure and finished 24th.
Kanaan started seventh and was running in seventh when he pitted for the first time. Unfortunately, the air jack failed and when the team resorted to a manual jack the front wing was damaged. The team got him back out without losing a lap and then re-pitted to finish the stop. At that point Kanaan had dropped to 21st place, but he responded and marched through the field getting back to eighth place. During his second stop he again pitted twice the first time to repair the air jack and fuel the car, the second to put on tires. Again, he did not lose a lap, but dropped back to 16th place. For the second time he fought his way back through the field working his way into fourth place. He moved into third place with a little over 50 laps remaining where he remained until lap 188 when he attempted to pass Will Power for second place. At that point, Power blatantly moved over to block and severely damaged Kanaan’s right front wing. Kanaan pitted for repairs, his eighth of the race, and when he rejoined the race was in 12th place and a lap down. Power was assessed a drive through penalty for his actions.
“I have to thank my sponsor Mouser, this was their home race and I feel bad that I couldn’t bring home a good result, Kanaan said. “I also want to thank my crew guys, we had a problem on the first pit stop and they managed to get it sorted and send me back out. Will Power then did the biggest block on me ever. We have been talking about safety and that wasn’t cool. I did go and talk to him after the race and we talked it out. I had a busy night, it was unfortunate that happened because I think we had a pretty good car and hopefully we put on a good race for the fans.”
Kanaan made his 13th appearance at TMS today. He has finished in the top-10 nine times including a remarkable seven top-five showings with a win in 2004 (second in 2003 race No. 1; 2004 race No. 2 and 2007). Kanaan has earned three top-six finishes in the first seven races this season (sixth in Detroit, third at Indy, fourth at Long Beach). The 37-year old Brazilian earned 19 points today and remains ninth in the championship race with 160 points.