INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 15, 2003) -- Rookie Dan Wheldon took the ...
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 15, 2003) -- Rookie Dan Wheldon took the #26T Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone out for practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday for the final time this week. Wheldon posted the sixth fastest time of the day at 227.960 miles per hour (39.4806 seconds).
The Klein Tools/Jim Beam crew continued to fine-tune its race setup. Wheldon made several long runs turning nearly 250 miles (96 laps) while working in traffic. The team went back to the garage satisfied with its race setup and will not go back on the track until Carburetion Day on Thursday, May 22.
Scott Dixon led today's practice session in his primary car with a speed of 229.966 miles per hour (39.1363 seconds). Dixon also set the third fastest speed of the day in his backup car with a lap at 228.454 miles per hour (39.3953 seconds). Tora Takagi was second quick at 228.657 miles per hour (39.3603 seconds). Wheldon's Andretti Green Racing teammate Michael Andretti ran 150 laps in his backup car posting a best speed of 224.507 miles per hour (40.0879 seconds).
A total of 24 cars are currently in the field with Sunday's qualifying session remaining. The 87th running of the Indianapolis 500 is slated to go green at 12 p.m. EDT and will air live on ABC Sports on May 25.
Dan Wheldon #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone
"The Klein Tools/Jim Beam crew has worked hard all month and they have given me a great car. Barry Green, who is calling my race, and Tino Belli, my engineer, are both great at keeping me relaxed and making everything fun. Working with Andretti Green Racing is great. By having three teammates, there is a large baseline of data to work with and obviously we have great equipment to work with, as well. I think Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the world's greatest race track and it is a pleasure to drive around, but at the end of the day it is like any track we race on -- you want to go around it as fast as you possibly can."
Barry Green, Andretti Green Racing Consultant
"I think we improved the car today and we got it to Dan's liking. All three (Wheldon's, Kanaan's and Andretti's) of our race setups are very similar and Dan was very comfortable in the car today. He worked in the draft and on fuel strategy today and I think we finished off a great week of practice here."