Kanaan, No. 11 MOUSER ELECTRONICS | GEICO – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone car, qualified 18th, but started 16th after the penalty to Wilson and one to Sebastian Saavedra, also for an unauthorized engine change. From the drop of the green flag, Kanaan showed that his car was faster than where he qualified as he picked up four positions on the first lap. However, in the chaos of the opening lap he his damaged his front wing. Kanaan declined to pit for a new wing and despite the severe handicap picked up two more places over the next two laps to move into 10th place. Showing determination and skill, he continued to battle and managed to basically hold position getting as high seventh and never lower than 12th until his final pit stop on lap 63. Unfortunately, when he tried to exit the pit his car refused to go into first gear because of a non-team related software problem that affected the clutch and the car stalled. After restarting the No. 11 MOUSER ELECTRONICS | GEICO – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone machine, the first gear engaged, but Kanaan had lost valuable time and dropped to 15th place. He fought back, a now confirmed broken wing and all, overtaking cars and taking advantage of other driver’s mistakes. In the end, Kanaan clawed his way back into the top-10 to earning valuable championship points.
“I definitely had a top-six car today,” Kanaan said. “The first lap I broke my front wing and even with that problem I got up to seventh place. However during our last pit stop the car got stuck in neutral, which put us a lap down. We continue to fight and fortunately were able to savage a top-10 finish which gave us valuable championship points.”
Kanaan, who contested his eighth race at Sonoma Raceway today, finished in the top-10 for the sixth time including a victory in his Sonoma debut in 2005. The 37-year-old Brazilian has finished 12 of the 13 races this year (his only DNF came at St. Petersburg where he had a non-team related component failure). Kanaan is having another remarkably consistent season. He has earned eight top-10 finishes including seven top-six showings with three podium performances (season-high second at Milwaukee and thirds at Iowa and Indy). Five of his top-10 finishes have come on road/street circuits (fourths at Toronto and Long Beach, sixths at Detroit and Mid-Ohio along with today’s 10th place showing). The hugely popular Kanaan scored 20 points today and is now sixth in the championship race with 327 points, just 10 points out of fifth.