IRL: Nazareth: Dan Wheldon qualifying comments

Dan Wheldon to start 14th at Nazareth English rookie Dan Wheldon posted the 14th fastest time in qualifying yesterday, securing himself the inside starting position in the seventh row for today's Firestone Indy 225 at Nazareth Speedway, the...

Dan Wheldon to start 14th at Nazareth

English rookie Dan Wheldon posted the 14th fastest time in qualifying yesterday, securing himself the inside starting position in the seventh row for today's Firestone Indy 225 at Nazareth Speedway, the 13th round of the 2003 Indy Racing League IndyCar Series.

25-year old Wheldon lapped the one-mile oval at 164.675 mph. The Klein Tools / Jim Beam team worked in race conditions during practice on Friday and then ran a few simulated qualifying runs in yesterday's 30-minute practice before the qualifying session. During yesterday 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 seemedto slow down for nearly everyone in the field.

Scott Dixon ran a lap of 171.182 mph to earn his fifth pole of the 2003 season. Dixon, who currently sits fourth in the series point standings, will start alongside Helio Castroneves who qualified at 170.849 mph. Wheldon's team-mate Tony Kanaan earned the third starting position with a lap at 170.259 mph.

The 225-lap Firestone Indy225 will air live on ESPN at 3pm EDT today. The race will be shown live in the UK on Sky Sports 3 at 8pm and edited highlights will be screened on Five at 2.40am early on Wednesday morning.

After qualifying, Dan Wheldon commented: '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 carworking 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, said on Saturday afternoon: '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 topractice with the new set-up 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.'

-www.danwheldon.com

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Jim Beam