Klein Tools/Jim Beam Driver Dan Wheldon Third in Rain-Shortened Indianapolis 500 SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 30, 2004) - Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon finished third in today's weather-delayed and shortened Indianapolis 500. Mother Nature ...
Klein Tools/Jim Beam Driver Dan Wheldon Third in Rain-Shortened Indianapolis 500
SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 30, 2004) - Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon finished third in today's weather-delayed and shortened Indianapolis 500. Mother Nature played a major factor in the race as the checkered flag was displayed on lap 180 of the scheduled 200-lap distance because of rain. Rain also played a factor early in the race when it delayed the start of the 88th Indianapolis 500 by just over two hours and then brought out the red flag for nearly two more hours at the conclusion of lap 27.
In his second Indianapolis 500, Wheldon started from the middle of the front row and never ran lower the fourth during the event. The 2003 IndyCar® Series Rookie-of-the-Year led his first laps at Indy, which included the period when the red flag was displayed. Wheldon restarted the race from the point and went on to lead 26 laps to extend his streak of top-three finishes to five.
Buddy Rice won from pole with Andretti Green Racing finishing in the next three spots. Tony Kanaan was second in the Team 7-Eleven entry just ahead of his teammate Wheldon. Bryan Herta completed the AGR sweep in the XM Satellite Radio car with a fourth place result. In all Honda powered the first seven drivers across the finish line.
The IndyCar® Series moves on to Texas Motor Speedway for the always exciting Bombardier 500 on June 12.
Dan Wheldon, Driver, #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone
"I think the Klein Tools/Jim Beam car was strong and it was a very good team effort for Andretti Green Racing. We did the best with what we had today. The guys in the pit did a tremendous job and Tony Cotman (team manager) really made the best of what was thrown at us. It was an exciting day. I could run the Indianapolis 500 every year of my life. It is such a cool race, it really is. It is always nice to drive at this place and whether it is interrupted by rain or whatever it is still a beautiful place to drive at."
Tony Cotman, Team Manager, #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone
"Today we tried everything we knew, we tried three or four different things and I'm really proud of the whole Andretti Green team. Finishing two, three and four is nothing to be ashamed of, but we were really hoping for a win for the Klein Tools/Jim Beam crew. Dan did a great job as usual, we ran out front and we're just a little disappointed with the outcome. It was a great team effort and we need to be proud of what happened today and it just didn't go our way at the end."