MADISON, Ill. – We needed that.
“That” was a podium finish – third place—for A.J. Foyt’s ABC Supply Racing team at the hands of veteran Tony Kanaan here at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway Saturday night.
“Great night,” Kanaan said. “We knew we had a strong car Friday night (in final practice). Obviously we missed in qualifying so I was a little frustrated but once we got to the front (tonight), the car was fast. We played the strategy right, we got a little bit of luck on our side – finally – and once we got to the front, we showed them that we belong there. It wasn’t like, ah they got lucky. When we restarted there were over 40 laps to go, and nobody could touch us. It was an awesome result for us.”
It is the best finish for both Kanaan and Foyt’s team since joining forces last year. It is the team’s best finish since Takuma Sato placed second at Detroit in 2015. Kanaan’s last podium –second at Texas—came in 2017.
It was Sato whom Kanaan chased since lap 190 before relinquishing second place to Ed Carpenter with four laps to go in the 248-lap race. Sato claimed the victory by barely edging out Carpenter who closed to within half a car length under the waving checkered flag.
For the first time this season, there was a timely yellow for Kanaan’s team: it came out for Sebastien Bourdais’s contact in Turn 4 on lap 192. Kanaan was one of four cars yet to pit. When he did pit under caution, his ABC Supply team performed the pivotal pit stop well by getting him out in eight seconds—fast enough to maintain his second place position when he rejoined the field.
The race went green after 13 laps of caution, and although Kanaan tried to go for the lead on the restart,