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Kanaan unconcerned at back

The problems encountered by Andretti Green Racing's Dan Wheldon and Tony Kanaan were put behind them after a successful practice session ahead of Sunday's Toyota Indy 400 at California Speedway

Wheldon, who had the 14th-fastest lap in qualifying, bounced back with the fastest lap during the final practice session while team-mate Kanaan, who withdrew from qualifying with a sour engine and will start at the back of the 21-car field for the start of the race, had the 11th-fastest lap during the practice session.

The qualifying problem isn't considered detrimental for either driver, considering the logistics of California Speedway's two-mile layout. As with the IRL's other super speedway races, most of the field is expected to race in a pack, leaving Wheldon and Kanaan with ample opportunities to move ahead.

"I won a 500-mile race from a lap down, and I don't need to win here," said Kanaan, who needs to finish fifth or better to clinch the IRL IndyCar Series championship. "I want a big win, but I don't have to. My guys told me after the session, 'Hey, you haven't started in the back and moved to the front this year like you did last year, so we think it's time for you to show us again.'"

Buddy Rice, who's third in points heading into Sunday's race, will be eliminated from the title race when Kanaan takes the green flag. Wheldon is second, 75 points behind his team-mate.

Kanaan's crew changed the engine on the No. 11 AGR Honda-powered Dallara after the qualifying session, reiterating his position at the tail of the grid. Kosuke Matsuura also changed engines, moving him from 18th to 20th.

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