Kanaan Indycar King
October 6, 2004 | 12:35 A.M. EST
The championship is the first IndyCar Series title for Kanaan and for Andretti Green Racing, both of whom joined the Series as full-time competitors prior to the 2003 campaign. Kanaan’s championship drive has included three wins, 14 top fives, 15 top 10s and 884 laps led.
“I'm so excited for the team," Kanaan said. "I
did some doughnuts over (in Turn 2) for (late driver) Greg Moore. He's still in my heart. So is my dad who couldn't be here, but it's a happy day, not a sad day. I have great teammates and great sponsors, 7-Eleven and Honda. It's a dream come true. Now I can relax a little bit.”
“Today was just a dream day," said team owner Michael Andretti. "It was a little tough over the weekend because we didn’t qualify very well and the guys weren’t real happy with the #11 Team 7-Eleven car until the end yesterday. But they kept working and got a little more comfortable with things. Then, the race started and Tony pretty much showed that he had a fast car right away. The only letdown was that I asked him to go out and get a win and he didn’t get that, but we’ll let that go. Tony drove like a champion from the first race of the season and proved that he is a champion this year. Dan (Wheldon) came a real long way this season and is going to be really, really tough to beat next year. I’m really proud of the job Dan has done. Now the team needs to focus on securing
second place in the championship for Dan when we go to Texas.”
IndyCar Series records set by Kanaan during 2004:
• He has led 884 laps, an IndyCar Series single-season mark.
• The 578 points amassed by Kanaan in 2004 marks the highest single-season total ever recorded by an IndyCar Series driver.
• Kanaan has recorded an IndyCar Series record 14 consecutive top-five finishes, which sets two new marks – one for most consecutive top fives and one for most top fives in a season.
Kanaan Superlatives in 2004:
• He has completed all 3,105 race laps run this season, making him the only IndyCar Series driver to have completed every lap.
• Kanaan is riding a string of 14 consecutive top-five finishes.
• Kanaan’s 884 laps led this season are more than twice that of the next-highest lap leader. Teammates Dan Wheldon (419) and Dario Franchitti (347) rank second and third, respectively.
• Kanaan ranks third among IndyCar Series career lap leaders, having led 1,225 race laps.
• Kanaan has posted three IndyCar Series wins this season (Phoenix, Texas and Nashville) and two IndyCar Series poles (Michigan and Pikes Peak).