Graham Rahal spins Tony Kanaan on final restart, costs both a likely podium finish at Houston

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Tony Kanaan showed that patience is one of his biggest strong suits in Saturday’s Race 1 of the Shell and Pennzoil IndyCar Grand Prix of Houston.

Kanaan was dumped on the final restart of the race by Graham Rahal, ending potential podium finishes for both drivers. Kanaan was running third at the time and Rahal fourth.

“I’ve gotta be professional, I have a team to defend and a lot of good sponsors, so I can’t do what I really want to do,” Kanaan said, showing incredible restraint, even though he had a look on his face that showed just the opposite.

“What a shame,” Kanaan said to NBCSN. “It was a great run. We fought all the way, all day long, and to be taken out like that, I think it’s stupid.

“But (Rahal) was having a good day, too, and ruined his day. I guess I wanted to believe the best, that he didn’t do it on purpose, he came over to apologize, but that still doesn’t take the frustration out of me.”

Kanaan’s car was undriveable after the contact, but Rahal was able to continue. He went over to Kanaan afterward to apologize.

“Obviously, I said I’m sorry,” Rahal said. “With the stack up on the restart, I was trying to keep the tires just as dry as I could. I was just to the left (of Kanaan) and when it stacked up, I just didn’t see him at all and got into the back of him.

“Obviously, this has happened about a hundred times this year, but it doesn’t make it right.”

Kanaan wound up recording a 13th-place finish, while Rahal was penalized 30 seconds for avoidable late-race contact. While he crossed the finish line third, the penalty pushed his eventual finish to 11th.

“I think if it had ended under green, we would have won this race for sure, and I feel confident saying that because I was moving by those guys in a hurry,” Rahal said. “But, shoulda, coulda, woulda. In the end, I made a mistake. That’s the way it goes.”

Added Kanaan, “It’s just a shame. Am I mad at him? Yes. Can I turn back time? No. So we have to turn the page and go on to tomorrow.”

Rahal also tried to look ahead.

“This car, I said last night that it could win today,” Rahal said. “We didn’t qualify as well as we thought we could of, but everybody saw there was nobody quicker than us on that racetrack.

“What can we do? We have to go back out there tomorrow, try to qualify a little better and run upfront.”

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Wickens tops final Road America practice

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Robert Wickens showed the way in final practice for Sunday’s KOHLER Grand Prix, topping the speed charts with a quick time of 1:42.991, the only time below 1:43 during the session.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, Simon Pagenaud, Alexander Rossi, and Graham Rahal completed the top five.

The lone incident of the session came right at the end, when Zach Veach went for a spin exiting Bill Mitchell Bend (turn 13). However, Veach did not suffer any damage in the incident.

Times are below. Qualifying begins at 4:00 p.m. ET (3:00 p.m. local time) and will air on NBCSN at 6:30 p.m. ET.

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