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Indy Notes: Kanaan Tells Danica To Change Attitude

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Sunday, May 23 2010

A.J. Foyt IV was fired by A.J. Foyt Jr. at Indianapolis over the weekend. (Photo courtesy of the IZOD IndyRacing Series)

By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor
RacinToday.com

Indianapolis – On Saturday night, a couple of hours after Danica Patrick had been roundly booed by race fans at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Tony Kanaan met with his teammate.

His message to her was that she needed to adjust her attitude.

“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.”

Patrick was booed by fans after she had a poor qualifying run and then said during an interview which was broadcast live over the public address system at Indianapolis Motor Speedway that “it was not my fault”. She blamed her team for not making her car faster.

She appeared startled when that spurred loud booing from fans in the frontstretch grandstands.

“At closed doors, we spoke last night,” Kanaan said. “I think she realized what she did. And we sometimes say thing we don’t want to say and regret.”

Kanaan said he offered Patrick, who dabbled in NASCAR early in the year and has been unimpressive in Indycars ever since, some advice.

“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.”

Family feud: Being related by blood, you would think that A.J. Foyt IV would know better than to complain about cars built by his iconic and strong-willed grandfather, A.J. Foyt.

Nope.

And as a result, the grandson is out at Indianapolis Speedway today and Jaques Lazier is in.

A.J. Foyt Racing made the move after a Saturday Pole Day that did not go well for the team. With Foyt IV in the car, it did not generate enough speed to qualify and must now run its way into the field on Sunday’s Bump Day.

After Saturday’s struggles, Foyt IV reportedly complained and was replaced by Lazier, a veteran at Indy who was at Indianapolis Motor Speedway looking for a ride.

“He wasn’t happy with the car,” Foyt said Sunday morning of his grandson. “If you’re not happy with your car here, you’re not going to do anybody any good.”

Asked if his grandson might be back in the car before the weekend is over, Foyt said probably not. Can’t make a change like that temporary, he said.

Lazier said he had been trying to put a deal together with Foyt’s team in the days leading up to the 500 but could not get it done.

“We came up short but we are in position now,” Lazier said.

Lazier said he got the call on Sunday morning. It came from four-time 500 winner Foyt and AJFR’s Larry Foyt.

Lazier could do no better than young Foyt, however, the car did not make the race.

Junky returns: With driver Alex Tagliani driving solidly into the field on Saturday, FAZZT Racing on Sunday turned to Bruno Junqueira. It put him into the No. 33 car and sent him out to attempt to qualify.

Junqueira said thanks by turning a four-lap effort at 225.662 mph. That put him solidly into the field. It was a qualifying run which seven fastest of the weekend.

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Sunday, May 23 2010
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