IRL: Chicagoland: AGR, Dan Wheldon preview

Dan Wheldon on the 2004 Delphi Indy 300: "The race in Chicago is very important to me with both of my co-sponsors, Klein Tools and Jim Beam, being located in Chicago. We're going to have a lot of guests at the race and it's important to ...

Dan Wheldon on the 2004 Delphi Indy 300:

   "The race in Chicago is very important to me with both of my co-sponsors, Klein Tools and Jim
Beam, being located in Chicago.  We're going to have a lot of guests at the race and it's important to the
Klein Tools/Jim Beam crew that we do well.  We're going to do everything we can to make a run at the
championship.  Tony (Kanaan) has a sizeable lead, but we still think we've got a chance to win."

Dan Wheldon Facts

Wheldon is coming off his third career IndyCar Series win with a victory at the Firestone Indy 225 at Nazareth Speedway. He has also been victorious at Twin Ring Motegi (April 17) and Richmond (June 26). Wheldon has started in the front row on four occasions this year and has two career IndyCar Series poles, earning them consecutively at Phoenix (March 20) and Twin Ring Motegi (April 16).

With his win at Nazareth, Wheldon has moved into second place in the IndyCar Series points championship hunt. He leads third-place driver Buddy Rice by four points (431-427). Teammate and Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan leads the standings and is 72 points ahead of Wheldon. Wheldon scored his fourth-straight third-place finish at Nazareth Speedway. Through 13 races, he leads the series in top-three finishes with nine.

The driver of the #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam machine has led 397 laps this season, which ranks second in the series. Andretti Green drivers occupy the top-three spots in laps led, and the top-four machines are all Honda-powered.

Earlier this year, Wheldon tied a then-IndyCar Series record by scoring seven consecutive top-five finishes, a streak that included the final three events of 2003 and the first four races of 2004. Wheldon shared that record with Helio Castroneves and Sam Hornish. Kanaan now holds the record with a current streak of 12 consecutive top-fives.

Wheldon has been nominated for SPEED Channel's Driver of the Year Award for the third quarter of 2004. Fans can vote for Whledon by logging onto www.speedtv.com/features/577/.

Eddie Jones, Engineer, #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone on the Delphi Indy 300:

   "We had a good race at Chicagoland last year.  It's a track that Dan likes because it's very fast, and
he's very good on those tracks.  We feel we are going in there with a very good race car.  Coming off the win
at Nazareth, I think Dan is really fired up and ready to go.  I expect we'll be competitive all weekend."

-AGR-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Buddy Rice , Jim Beam , Sam Hornis