Third place in Detroit Dual 1 not enough for Tony Kanaan

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Expectations were high when Tony Kanaan joined Target Chip Ganassi Racing to replace the retiring Dario Franchitti. They still are.

Never mind the fact that Kanaan’s third-place finish in today’s first race of the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit was his first Top-5 finish of the year.

This team demands much more than that, and its newest driver wants to deliver.

But Kanaan did recognize that P3 was still progress.

“”You can’t be happy finishing third,” the former Indy 500 winner said. “We want to win, so we’re working toward that direction.

“But it was a great race for us. We got great restarts, great pit stops, and the strategy played out in our favor big time.

“We have tonight to work on it, and tomorrow, I want to put that thing in P1.”

Kanaan quickly got to work in the No. 10 Energizer/Target Chevrolet, jumping from eighth to fifth on the opening lap of the 70-lap race. However, he had fallen a couple of positions by the time he pitted under yellow with teammate Scott Dixon at Lap 18.

As the numerous strategies in the field played out, Kanaan fell into the pack but was able to rise up into the Top 5 again by the time he made his last stop.

After Mikhail Aleshin brought out the caution with 15 laps remaining for his spin, Kanaan lined up fourth for the final restart and moved into podium position when Ryan Briscoe pitted from the lead with eight laps left.

Following the race, Kanaan was spotted talking to his boss, Chip Ganassi. In his post-race TV interview, he was asked about that conversation.

“I said, ‘Chip, I want to win. I’m happy that I’m third, but I want to win for you so bad,'” the Brazilian disclosed. “That’s all I said.”

Both Kanaan and TCGR have won numerous races and championships. And they both know that, for them, third place is still far short of the ultimate goal.

Montoya: ‘Hopefully I get a chance to do Indy again’ (VIDEO)

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Juan Pablo Montoya is on site at this weekend’s United States Grand Prix, his latest trip in a summer and fall filled with a lot of international travel and a number of different race cars he’s been in.

Montoya is committed to a full season in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with Acura Team Penske in 2018, as he’ll share one of the team’s Acura ARX-05s with Dane Cameron.

However, the question of whether he’ll be able to race in the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil remains.

Team Penske has said it plans to only run four cars next month of May, with Helio Castroneves as the fourth driver alongside the three full-time cars driven by Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud and Will Power.

While Montoya has said elsewhere that he’s shopping offers and has talked with other teams, it’d be highly surprising to see the two-time Indianapolis 500 champion who developed the Chevrolet engine for IndyCar’s 2018 Dallara universal body kit in a Honda-powered IndyCar, although he is running Honda’s brand (Acura) in sports cars.

Montoya elaborated on his Indy 500 prospects in an interview with NBCSN pit reporter and insider Will Buxton at the Circuit of The Americas.

“Not full-time no,” Montoya told NBCSN of his IndyCar 2018 prospects. “Hopefully I get a chance to go to Indy, hopefully with Penske, (and) if not someone else. We’ll see.”

Photo: IndyCar

Montoya has extolled the early testing both on the 2018 IndyCar and on the Acura ARX-05.

The first Acura chassis has run at Road Atlanta and Sebring International Raceway thus far, and will be put through its paces at other venues over the next few months.

“It’s been good. We did a lot of work with INDYCAR on that car. Fans are gonna like it,” Montoya said of the 2018 kit.

“Going to IMSA with the Acura program, we’ve done a lot of testing. It’s a beauty to drive. It drives better than what it looks! I haven’t had that much fun driving a race car in a long time.”

Acura ARX-05 Daytona Prototype international (DPi) race car to be campaigned by Team Penske in 2018