NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 18, 2003) -- Rookie Dan Wheldon qualified the Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone eighth on the starting grid for the Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville Superspeedway. Wheldon lapped the 1.33-mile oval at ...
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 18, 2003) -- Rookie Dan Wheldon qualified the Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone eighth on the starting grid for the Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville Superspeedway. Wheldon lapped the 1.33-mile oval at 204.238 miles per hour, which was good enough to put him on the outside of the fourth row.
The Klein Tools/Jim Beam crew concentrated on the car's race setup during today's first practice session before running qualifying simulations in the second practice. The "qualifying sims" also allowed Wheldon to get a feel for how the car would get up to speed on the concrete surface.
Scott Dixon won the "MBNA Pole Award" with a speed of 206.211 miles per hour. Helio Castroneves will start from the outside of the front row after posting a lap of 205.339 miles per hour. Tora Takagi will line up third on the grid after a lap of 205.051 miles per hour.
In what was a very competitive qualifying session, only one-half of a second separates the top 15 qualifiers. Wheldon's teammate Bryan Herta will start alongside him in the seventh spot after a lap at 204.290 miles per hour. Tony Kanaan will start from the tenth position after running a lap at 203.759 miles per hour.
The Firestone Indy 200 will go green at 8:05 p.m. EDT Saturday and will be shown live on ESPN2.
Dan Wheldon #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
"My speed is pretty disappointing. We were fairly quick in practice, but in qualifying we didn't quite get it right. The Klein Tools/Jim Beam car should be good in the race, though. The concrete surface means that it takes a little longer for our tires to get up to temperature. That is something you have to get used to, but it isn't a problem."
Tony Cotman, Team Manager, Klein Tools/Jim Beam:
"Dan and the team did a great job today. The car is really good, but unfortunately that is as quick as we could go in qualifying. We worked on our race setup this morning and we think we have a good race car."