IRL: Michigan: AGR/Wheldon Friday report

Wheldon eighth in practice at MIS Brooklyn, Mich. (July 25, 2003) -- Rookie Dan Wheldon set the eighth fastest speed in practice today at the Michigan International Speedway (MIS) in preparation for the Firestone Indy 400 on Sunday. Wheldon ...

Wheldon eighth in practice at MIS

Brooklyn, Mich. (July 25, 2003) -- Rookie Dan Wheldon set the eighth fastest speed in practice today at the Michigan International Speedway (MIS) in preparation for the Firestone Indy 400 on Sunday. Wheldon lapped the two-mile oval in the #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone at 221.284 miles per hour.

Wheldon and the Klein Tools/Jim Beam crew concentrated of the car's handling in heavy traffic, trying to run with other groups of cars. The team's focus was the car's race balance, which they improved greatly late in the afternoon session. The team was one of only twelve teams to better their time from the morning practice in the afternoon session.

Two-time Indy Racing League IndyCarTM Series champion Sam Hornish, Jr. led today's practices with a lap of 223.618 miles per hour. Kenny Brack was second quick overall after a lap at 222.983 miles per hour. Scott Dixon, who has won the last three IndyCar Series pole positions, was third with a lap of 222.493 miles per hour. Wheldon's teammate Bryan Herta was fourth quickest with a speed of 222.177 miles per hour and Tony Kanaan was 10th 221.028 miles per hour.

Qualifying for the Firestone Indy 400 is scheduled for 11 a.m. EDT tomorrow, while the 200-lap race -- which will air live on ABC Sports -- is set for 3 p.m. EDT on Sunday.

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

"The Klein Tools/Jim Beam car has been pretty strong. We were working on our race stuff most of the day. This is such a big track that it is going to be really tough to get on pole tomorrow. If you have a good car in the race you can get to the front from anywhere on the grid -- front, middle or back. It is a long race, so if we can start with a good car and fine-tune it throughout the race we'll be right there. Our car seems to be pretty quick in race trim, so we should be okay."

-AGR-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Bryan Herta , Kenny Brack , Dan Wheldon , Jim Beam , Sam Hornis