IRL: Fontana: AGR, Dan Wheldon preview

Dan Wheldon on the 2004 California Indy 400: "California is going to be a good race. You expect it to be side-by-side like a superspeedway, but it doesn't always pan out that way. I think the Klein Tools/Jim Beam team will have to adjust our...

Dan Wheldon on the 2004 California Indy 400:

"California is going to be a good race. You expect it to be side-by-side like a superspeedway, but it doesn't always pan out that way. I think the Klein Tools/Jim Beam team will have to adjust our strategy accordingly, but we've been doing pretty well on the superspeedways lately. From an engineering standpoint, I think we need to find a little more outright speed to be able to contend for the win."

Dan Wheldon Facts

With his fourth-place finish at Chicagoland Speedway, Wheldon recorded a top-four result for the fifth- straight time.

Through 14 races, Wheldon is tied with teammate Tony Kanaan for the IndyCar Series lead in top- three finishes with nine. The next-closest driver has five top-three results.

Wheldon maintained a hold on the second spot in the IndyCar Series points championship with his fourth-place finish at Chicagoland. He gained valuable points on third-place driver Buddy Rice and now leads Rice by 20 points (463-443). Kanaan leads the standings and is 75 points ahead of Wheldon.

Wheldon recorded his third career IndyCar Series win with a victory at the Firestone Indy 225 at Nazareth Speedway (Aug. 29). 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).

The driver of the #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam machine has led 415 laps this season.

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 Jr. Kanaan now holds the record with a current streak of 13 top fives.

Tony Cotman, Team Manager, #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone on the 2004 California Indy 400:

"It's important for us to carry on our momentum from the last few races. Tony (Kanaan) has a big lead in the championship, but I think our goal is to keep doing what's got us here. I don't think it's time to be conservative. We still need to be quite aggressive and therefore take certain risks and chances. Hopefully, if we can't win the championship, we can preserve our second-place spot."

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Buddy Rice , Jim Beam , Sam Hornish Jr.