LONG POND, Pa.—Weather dampened Pocono Raceway but not the spirits of A.J. Foyt’s ABC Supply team as Tony Kanaan topped the two hour practice session today as 22 drivers dialed in their cars in preparation for Sunday’s ABC Supply 500. Kanaan posted a top speed of 216.354 mph in his No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet with about 45 minutes left to go in the session.
Due to the inclement weather in the morning, qualifying was cancelled to allow the race teams ample time to sort out their cars on the 2.5-mile tri-oval dubbed the “The Tricky Triangle.” The downside was that Kanaan and Leist will be starting 19th and 20th respectively because the grid will be set according to the entrant point standings.
“Decent day, obviously not being able to qualify hurt us a bit but we can’t control the weather so I think we have a pretty decent car,” Kanaan said. “Our biggest challenge is that we will be starting in the back and this track is not an easy track to overtake on especially in traffic. I’m excited, it was a good day, the boys are happy. We needed that today. So we’ll take one day at a time.”
"TK" smiles as crew members Todd De Neve and Shelby Tracey look on.
In the post-practice press conference, Kanaan said, "I was pretty confident coming in here that we had a competitive car because we were pretty competitive at the 500 and it’s a pretty similar setup so I’m happy. I think we have a good possibility of having our best finish of the year."
Regarding his mastery of starts and restarts, and if the fans could expect the same tomorrow, Kanaan answered in the affirmative.
“Of course, that’s what I do so hopefully we will put ourselves where we belong from qualifying where I think we would have started in the top 10 and go from there.”
Matheus Leist was also pleased with his warmup session, in which at one point he was third quickest, although he ended up 15th by the time the checkered flew.
Team President Larry Foyt (left) shares a laugh with Team Director George Klotz and driver Matheus Leist.T
“Solid session here at Pocono,” the 20-year-old said. “I think we managed to go through the program very well. Of course we didn’t have qualifying so we will have to start from the back tomorrow. I think we had a pretty good baseline car which is good and from thereon we worked on little issues the car had. After that we started working on traffic, so overall, I think it was a very nice session. I think it was one of the best sessions I had the whole year. It will be a hard race tomorrow, 500 miles, this race is not easy so we just have to concentrate on the right moves to move up on the grid.”
Second through fifth in the practice session were: Scott Dixon (215.761), rookie Santino Ferrucci (215.377), last year’s winner Alexander Rossi (215.373) and Simon Pagenaud (215.368).
The ABC Supply 500 will be broadcast live tomorrow on NBC Sports Network starting at 2 p.m. ET.