IRL: Nashville: Dan Wheldon race report

WHELDON FINISHES 21ST AT NASHVILLE; RIGHT-REAR BEARING OVERHEATS LEBANON, Tenn. (July 16, 2005) - Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon was hampered by a right-rear bearing problem that forced the 2005 Indianapolis 500 champion to an early...

WHELDON FINISHES 21ST AT NASHVILLE; RIGHT-REAR BEARING OVERHEATS

LEBANON, Tenn. (July 16, 2005) - Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon was hampered by a right-rear bearing problem that forced the 2005 Indianapolis 500 champion to an early exit at Saturday's running of the Firestone Indy 200. Wheldon, who still leads the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series championship by 73 points over teammate Tony Kanaan, finished the night in 21st position.

Wheldon had a difficult time early in the race with the handling of his car. On the first caution period, Wheldon came into the pits and took four tires and fuel, while the Klein Tools/Jim Beam crew also made an adjustment to Wheldon's front wing.

After an improvement in the handling, Wheldon had to make his second pit stop under green-flag conditions. Wheldon entered the pits in second place, but he was unable to return to the track. The crew noticed that the right-rear upright was not functioning properly, ending Wheldon's day.

Wheldon's AGR teammate Dario Franchitti won his first race of the season. Sam Hornish Jr., Patrick Carpentier, Scott Sharp and Helio Castroneves rounded out the top five.

The IndyCar Series schedule continues Sunday, July 24, with the ABC The Supply Co./A.J. Foyt 225 from Milwaukee Mile. ESPN will provide live The coverage of the 225-lap event beginning at 2:30 p.m. (EDT).

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

"We're pretty sure that we lost the outside-rear upright and it's unfortunate. I'm not sure that we had a car capable of winning, but the Klein Tools/Jim Beam car was competitive and we could have picked up some valuable points. It's just a shame."

John Anderson, Team Manager, #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone:

"We started to lose a bearing in the right rear. We could see the temperature climbing and we knew that it was only a matter of time before it broke, so we couldn't send Dan back out. It's very unfortunate because we thought the Klein Tools/Jim Beam car was competitive today."

-agr

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Scott Sharp , Patrick Carpentier , Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , John Anderson , A.J. Foyt , Jim Beam , Sam Hornish Jr.