IRL: Fort Worth, TMS welcomes Indy 500 winner Wheldon

Indy 500 Champion Dan Wheldon Hits the Trail with Fort Worth Herd FORT WORTH-DALLAS (June 3, 2005) -- "Head 'em up and move 'em out!" That was the charge given by Indianapolis 500 champion Dan Wheldon as he hit the trail Friday with The Fort ...

Indy 500 Champion Dan Wheldon Hits the Trail with Fort Worth Herd

FORT WORTH-DALLAS (June 3, 2005) -- "Head 'em up and move 'em out!" That was the charge given by Indianapolis 500 champion Dan Wheldon as he hit the trail Friday with The Fort Worth Herd, America's only daily cattle drive. Wheldon rode in a mule-drawn wagon as drovers brought out the herd of longhorn steer in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards.

Wheldon's visit to Fort Worth capped his week-long tour of America following his historic victory at the Indianapolis 500 on May 29. He became the first British driver since Graham Hill in 1966 to win the race at the famed Brickyard. The driver of the #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam machine for Andretti Green Racing also was the first driver ever to come from the 16th starting position to win at Indy. Wheldon has won four of the first five races in the 2005 IndyCar Series season as he comes to Texas Motor Speedway on June 11 for the Bombardier Learjet 500k.

The native of Emberton, England, sported some nifty black lizard boots from Justin Brand, cowboy hat, chaps, and the look of a gunslinger anxious to notch his fifth win of the IndyCar Series season.

"It is a bit of a different culture today," Wheldon said. "This isn't normally my style. They fitted me well, it looked good and was a lot of fun."

While Wheldon's winning ride at Indy handled to perfection, he noticed a different condition by part of the Fort Worth Herd entourage.

"The horses were 'loose,'" Wheldon laughed. "The horses needed more traction on the cobblestones, no doubt about it. It was fun being part of the cattle drive.

"Having just won the Indianapolis 500, I'm on a real high right now, just enjoying everything. Indy was the race that I was desperate to win; I've realized a dream in winning it. That means a lot to me.

Wheldon capped one of the most exhilarating Indy 500 races in memory by passing rookie sensation Danica Patrick with less than 10 laps to go to capture the win.

Now that Wheldon has reserved a spot on Indianapolis' Borg-Warner Trophy for his image, his focus turns to Texas Motor Speedway.

"I'd love to win at Texas. To make it five out of six would be fantastic. One thing that is very difficult about Texas is that it is hard to predict. You run at over 220 mph, you are inches apart and are back and forth with one another. Normally the person that wins takes it by an inch or two.

"It is the first race after Indy, it's a night race, it is going to be a good one for the fans. It will be like a phrase that I have learned on this trip, 'It's going to be a barnburner.'"

-tms-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Dan Wheldon , Graham Hill , Jim Beam , Danica Patrick