ELKHART LAKE, Wis.—A.J Foyt’s team will have its work cut out for them in tomorrow’s Kohler Grand Prix at the picturesque Road America, a four-mile road course in eastern Wisconsin.
Despite a positive practice Friday morning in the ABC Supply Chevrolets in which Tony Kanaan was sixth and Matheus ‘Matt’ Leist was 10th, the team struggled in the afternoon session, prompting some changes overnight. The morning session before this afternoon’s qualifying round indicated the changes didn’t work so the team regrouped.
However in qualifying, both drivers still struggled with a persistent understeer.
Kanaan posted a lap of one minute, 44.1165 seconds and will start 18th. He cited running into traffic on his quick lap as a contributing factor in his run.
“I got traffic on my fast lap but it would have just put us in the top 13, not enough to advance,” Kanaan said. “The car is understeering all weekend. We tried something overnight that didn’t work so it put us behind a session and we’re back to the car we had yesterday. It was the same car so we were going to do the same lap time as yesterday when we tried the reds. Getting traffic didn’t help but it wasn’t going to change a lot – maybe a few positions, which always helps but we’ve got a little bit of work to do.”
Leist will start directly behind Kanaan in 20th, having posted a time of one minute, 44.3438 seconds.
"We've been struggling a little bit finding the best setup for the car,” Leist said. “We need to concentrate for tomorrow so that we have a great car for the race. It's a long race and you never know what can happen. We will keep working, improving, and doing our best and will try to have a top 10 tomorrow."
The engineers will be going in a different direction for tomorrow’s race after analyzing the data from today.
In a published report on Indycar.com, tomorrow's race will be Kanaan's 293rd consecutive race and marks the 17th anniversary (to the day) of when he started his streak June 24, 2001. An IndyCar record, the feat has earned him the nickname of "Ironman."
Josef Newgarden won the Verizon P1 pole award with a lap of one minute, 43.2026 seconds in the Firestone Fast 6 round. Second through sixth were: Will Power, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi, Robert Wickens, and Sebastien Bourdais.
The race will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network starting at 12:30 p.m. ET.