DETROIT – “Great day for us. I had to redeem myself for this morning,” Tony Kanaan said after driving his No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet from 22nd to seventh in Race 2 of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Sunday afternoon on Belle Isle.
Kanaan spun in qualifying in wet conditions on the 2.35-mile temporary circuit and brought out a red flag which ended his session per IndyCar rules. He had to start nearly last, only rookie Rene Binder, who didn’t qualify this morning, started behind him.
“The good part about it, what is awesome is when your boss [A.J.] is behind you regardless what happens,” Kanaan explained. “I was really down after qualifying today because I made a mistake. It looked like he was trying to find the reason that I crashed so that it wasn’t my fault. I said, ‘A.J. it was my fault.’ So that gives me a lot of confidence and a lot of motivation just to go and do it.”
After yesterday’s race when the team used the same strategy for both cars, they decided to use two different strategies today: Kanaan was on a three-stop race and Matheus “Matt” Leist was on a two-stop race. A two-stop race means the driver has to save fuel, with a three-stopper, fuel saving is not as critical.
Both drivers got off to a great start picking up five positions each on the first lap which was slowed by the race’s only full course yellow for Spencer Pigot’s spin in Turn 5. Leist jumped up to 13th and Kanaan 17th.
As the different fuel strategies played out in the first half of the race, Leist ran as high as seventh. He was running ninth when Sebastien Bourdais spun in Turns 1 and 2. He lost two spots as cars scrambled around Bourdais who was limping back to the pits with a broken front wing.