Tony Kanaan says that he’s encouraged by what he has seen in his first few race weekends with AJ Foyt Racing, despite some inconsistency in the final results.
The Brazilian veteran, who joined the team from Ganassi during the winter, goes into the Indy 500 sitting 11th in the points with two top-10 finishes to date.
“We haven’t accomplished everything we wanted,” Kanaan admitted. “But it’s a long road. That’s why we agreed it was going to take a little long, so we made a multi-year deal. I’m doing everything I can, they’re doing everything they can. I think eventually it has to work.
“It’s not for a lack of working, not for a lack of effort. We still have some pieces we have to put in place, but that happens everywhere.
“We’re here, right? Ann [Fornoro, the team’s long-time PR representative] just told me on the elevator on the way up she hadn’t been here [a top-two press conference] in a while. I said, ‘get used to it.’ Hopefully I’ll keep my promise to her. I’ve been here, but they haven’t.
“We’re working on it, for sure. We have a long road ahead. We’re not as consistent as we wanted to be. It’s nice to see some people looking at us and saying, ‘hmm, they’re going to make this work.’”
Kanaan ended Thursday’s third day of Indy 500 practice second fastest behind Graham Rahal, but said that he’s a long way away from being ready to draw any conclusions about how that speed will translate over the days ahead.
“We unloaded pretty quick since the test,” he said. “Now it’s just the track playing some mind games with you. Some days are better, some days are worse. It’s more of trying to figure out what you’re going to need in 10 days. It’s quite hard. You don’t know what the weather is going to do.
“We’re trying to run in any type of weather right now, hot, cold, windy, recording everything on the books. Really have all that information to when it comes next week by Friday or Carb Day, you can try to predict what’s going to happen on Sunday, then put whatever the setup you think it is.
“It’s more of gathering information. Sometimes you have a good car, sometimes you have a bad car. Sometimes you get a good draft, sometimes you run alone. Saying all that, it’s over. Tomorrow it’s just Fast Friday and you worry about four laps. That’s all you got to worry about. Then four laps the next day, and hopefully on Sunday.”
“From tomorrow on, it will just be making the car as fast as you can and the most consistent for qualifying.”