Tony Kanaan didn’t do any favors to generate a positive buzz for Saturday’s IndyCar race at Texas Motor Speedway.
Instead, the veteran driver sees a boring race for fans.
"We go from a pack race to a no-passing race," Kanaan said after Friday’s final practice. "I think it's going to be boring for the fans. I don't think that's what we want to show people here. Apparently that's just my opinion. People that make the rules understand a lot more than the drivers, I guess."
Kanaan is no stranger to voicing his opinion on these types of issues. He ran into a similar issue in the first IndyCar race on TMS’ new asphalt and profile a year ago.
Kanaan drew the ire of drivers and a penalty by IndyCar for starting an accident in last year’s race that involved nine cars and led to a 31-minute red flag.
Kanaan recovered to finish second, but only six other drivers completed all 248 laps on a night that Will Power won.
Kanaan will start sixth on Saturday, and expects to finish there given his predictions of a boring race.
"I haven't seen anybody passing anybody, so I don't know," Kanaan said. "Maybe I finish sixth tomorrow. Starting sixth, we finish sixth. Can't pass anybody.
"I don't like what I see, but I don't make the rules. I'll just drive whatever they give it to me. I'm not happy. That's it."
Another veteran driver, Scott Dixon, offered a differing opinion than Kanaan.
"I passed a few cars out there," Dixon said. "I think the conditions will get a lot better. ... It's so tough to predict. You know, there was a bit of a group text going on earlier today between a lot of the drivers. Last year nobody predicted it was going to be a pack race. I was watching the race last night, by the end of the first stint, it was pretty much a pack race."
TMS president Eddie Gossage weighed in on Kanaan's comments, and believes that IndyCar will do what it can to ensure an exciting race.
But the open-wheel circuit has had a few races at Texas that fall into Kanaan's category as "boring." It's a tricky medium for the racing body to find a way to have a thrilling race while keeping it safe for the drivers.
"I would expect IndyCar to have perfected the aero package for Texas to ensure a race that offers another classic photo finish," Gossage said. "They proved they coudl do that last year, so I expect it to be a tight, breathtaking race. Why would they do anything less for IndyCar fans?"