IRL: Kentucky: AGR/Wheldon race report

Klein Tools/Jim Beam Driver Dan Wheldon earns another top-10 finish at Kentucky Speedway SPARTA, Ky. (August 17, 2003) -- Klein Tools/Jim Beam rookie driver Dan Wheldon scored his fifth top-10 finish of the season in the Belterra Casino Indy 300...

Klein Tools/Jim Beam Driver Dan Wheldon earns another top-10 finish at Kentucky Speedway

SPARTA, Ky. (August 17, 2003) -- Klein Tools/Jim Beam rookie driver Dan Wheldon scored his fifth top-10 finish of the season in the Belterra Casino Indy 300 on today at Kentucky Speedway.

Wheldon started from the outside of the seventh row in the Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone and ran around the 10th position for the first-half of the race. Wheldon entered the pits in 11th on his second stop and the Klein Tools/Jim Beam crew put on an outstanding performance to get him out of the pits in ninth. The team claimed another spot on their third and final pit stop and Wheldon sailed home to an eighth-place finish.

Sam Hornish dominated the Belterra Casino Indy 300, leading 181 of the 200 laps to earn his first win of the 2003 season. Scott Dixon finished second ahead of Wheldon's teammate Bryan Herta. Herta finished third for his third top-five of the season. Tony Kanaan collected a top-ten finish also, coming home in sixth.

The Indy Racing League IndyCarTM Series points championship is heating up as summer comes to an end. Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan held onto to his points lead with his sixth place finish. Kanaan leads Helio Castroneves 385-377. Scott Dixon is third in the tight race, just 12 points back with 373 points and Gil de Ferran is fourth with 372.

The IRL IndyCar Series moves to Nazareth Speedway a week from today for the Firestone Indy 225. The 13th round of 16 of the 2003 championship will be shown live at 3 p.m. (EDT) on ABC Sports.

Dan Wheldon, #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone

"I'm a bit surprised that we finished eighth because it seemed like a really tough day today. But, the team worked really hard. We made the best out of what we had today and that ended up getting us to eighth. Certainly, the guys in the pits did a good job and we're all just looking forward to taking the Klein Tools/Jim Beam car to Nazareth."

Tony Cotman, Team Manager, Klein Tools/Jim Beam

"For us, the race was pretty uneventful. [Sam] Hornish was so quick, he was gone. We missed the set-up a bit today and we were just too slow -- too slow on our own, too slow in traffic -- so, we just had to wait it out. It's a little bit disappointing, but I think we learned a little bit that can maybe help us out down the road a little bit at Chicago or some place like that."

-AGR-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Bryan Herta , Dan Wheldon , Jim Beam , Sam Hornis