Kanaan: Pocono is 'becoming my Indianapolis'

Kanaan: Pocono is 'becoming my Indianapolis'

IndyCar

Kanaan: Pocono is 'becoming my Indianapolis'

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Graham Rahal and Tony Kanaan helped set a new record for lead changes Sunday at Pocono Raceway, putting on an Indy 500-style clinic by swapping the lead over the course of 30 laps. When the Brazilian stepped out of his car, he and the No. 10 Ganassi Racing team found a broken front wing – which is likely what led to a fifth-place finish rather than what looked to be his first win in three years. 

“We don’t know what happened or when it happened,” he told NBCSN. “When we stopped the car the front wing was moving back and forth. I didn’t know until now, so that’s probably what it was because we were so strong in the first part of the race and I couldn’t understand at the end. So, great battle. Me and Graham, that was awesome. I’m pretty sure my kids at home got a kick out of that.”

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And Kanaan, who has now led 147 laps at the track in all five races run there since IndyCar returned in 2013, found another similarity to that other 500-mile race.

“We got to lead some laps. Somebody told me I’ve led every race I’ve been here. This is becoming my Indianapolis,” he said with a laugh. “I hope not – I hope it doesn’t take 12 years for me to win it! Unfortunately those are the kind of things that happen. This is IndyCar; sometimes you have the car to win and you have a little bit of a hiccup and finish fifth.”

From a lap 122 restart until a green-flag pit stop cycle on lap 151, Rahal and Kanaan took turns up front. Kanaan led for 32 total laps, with Rahal in front for nine.

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“Graham is a guy I can trust. We knew that by doing that we were actually helping each other to move forward and not to slow down and bring people with us.

“We used to do that at Indianapolis all the time – me and Dario [Franchitti], me and Dan [Wheldon] at the time – and this time it worked really well. He got what I was trying to do, and he knew exactly what to do and we kept moving forward. It was awesome. I don’t mind losing races like this. I think it was a lot of fun, and it just shows that the old guys have still got it.”

Rahal, who fell to ninth, said he dropped back because “we never were able to get that wing out, during the pit stops to pick up a little speed.

“When we were up front with TK, if that train could have kept just working and swapped lap to lap to lap, I would have been perfectly cool with that. Sometimes that’s not the way things go.”

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