Tony Kanaan admitted he was shaking when he got out of the car after Saturday’s qualifying session at Iowa.
As one of the drivers who hadn’t tested at Iowa in the new-for-2018 short oval aero package, the one-hour morning practice session was all the time he and several others had to acclimate; he was 18th quickest in a session where rookie teammate Matheus Leist crashed. Kanaan was eighth out to qualify.
“I saw the previous qualifying runs, everybody’s fastest lap was on the first lap, so I tried everything, and I almost crashed into Turn 1,” he explained.
“As a small team we keep improving. I thought here we would be a little bit better, to be honest, because our oval car in Phoenix was good and Texas was good. It’s going to be a long race for everybody tomorrow, that’s for sure.”
Kanaan told IMS Radio he was extremely uncomfortable with the car.
“I didn’t test here so the track surprised me big time,” he said. “Combination of it being bumpier and bumpier every year we come back, because of the hard winters. The new aero package, it caught me by surprise a lot, it’s extremely difficult to drive. I’m very uncomfortable – the most uncomfortable I’ve been in a long time in a racecar so I’m very concerned.
“But it’s the same for everybody; we’ve got some work to do.”
Leist’s crew was able to make repairs to the suspension; he’ll start 22nd.