IRL: Nazareth: AGR's Wheldon qualifying report

KLEIN TOOLS/JIM BEAM DRIVER DAN WHELDON TO START 14th AT NAZARETH NAZARETH. (August 23, 2003) -- Rookie Dan Wheldon posted the 14th fastest time in qualifying today, securing himself the inside starting position in the seventh row for the ...

KLEIN TOOLS/JIM BEAM DRIVER DAN WHELDON TO START 14th AT NAZARETH

NAZARETH. (August 23, 2003) -- Rookie Dan Wheldon posted the 14th fastest time in qualifying today, securing himself the inside starting position in the seventh row for the Firestone Indy 225 at Nazareth Speedway. Wheldon lapped the one-mile oval at 164.675 miles per hour.

The Klein Tools/Jim Beam team worked in race conditions during practice yesterday and then ran a few simulated qualifying runs in this morning's 30-minute practice before the qualifying session. During this morning's practice Wheldon was more comfortable in the car and he posted his fastest time of the weekend. As the weather conditions changed for qualifying, the track seemed to slow down for nearly everyone in the field.

Scott Dixon ran a lap of 171.182 miles per hour to earn his fifth pole of the 2003 season. Dixon, who sits fourth in the series point standings entering tomorrow's event, will start alongside Helio Castroneves, who qualified at 170.849 miles per hour. Wheldon's teammate Tony Kanaan earned the third starting position with a lap at 170.259 miles per hour. Bryan Herta will start 5th on Sunday after qualifying with a lap at 169.114 miles per hour.

The 225-lap Firestone Indy 225 will air live on ESPN at 3 p.m. EDT tomorrow.

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

"This is a tough track but I'm staying at Michael's (Andretti) house and that gives me plenty of time to get as much information as I can. This track is difficult and you have to get the car working right for you. We are having some trouble doing that right now and some of that may be from my inexperience, but I think the Klein Tools/Jim Beam car will be strong in the race."

Tony Cotman, Klein Tools/Jim Beam Team Manager

"We made a lot of improvements on the car this morning for Dan and he was much more comfortable. We really haven't had a lot of time to practice with the new setup and it really is just a matter of getting as many laps as we can. We are working hard to get a comfortable car in the race so we can be near the front at the finish."

-agr-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Bryan Herta , Dan Wheldon , Jim Beam