As evidenced by sweating out Bump Day, Tony Kanaan had even worse equipment than Danica Patrick did. But Kanaan didn't lash out publicly like Patrick, who said after a poor, Indy 500 qualifying attempt Saturday, "It's not my fault. The car is not good."
“She definitely needs to change her attitude. Not against the public or the fans,” Kanaan said. “In herself. She’s not happy with herself right now. And I can understand that. I can relate to that because I’ve been there. I had a terrible year last year.”
Kanaan was somber Sunday afternoon, but exchanged hugs and handshakes with his whole Andretti Autosport team when Bump Day ended. Kanaan did end up qualifying; he'll start 32nd.
Last year, Kanaan finished sixth in the standings, a distant 230 points back of first place Dario Franchitti, and didn't record a win last season. And it's not like Kanaan has been terrible at Indianapolis Motor Speedway either. Despite not reaching victory lane, he's led in seven of his eight Indianapolis 500s.
Kanaan said that he and Patrick talked Saturday night, and Patrick realized that what she said Saturday was wrong.
“I think my best advice to her, which I told her last night, is you’ve got to learn from the tough times,” Kanaan said. “The same guys that she finished fifth in the championship last year and won her first race, they’re still there. Those are the same people. In racing, besides having a good setup and a good car, I believe that your attitude counts a lot.
“The best advice I said to her was, ‘Look, start having fun again.’ When you wake up in the morning in your bus and you can’t wait to go to the racetrack and see your guys, it’s the best feeling. But when you wake up in the morning and say, `God, I’ve got to drive a race car again,' that’s not good.”
- Tony Kanaan