IRL: Phoenix: AGR, Wheldon race report

WHELDON DRIVES KLEIN TOOLS/JIM BEAM CAR TO SIXTH-PLACE FINISH IN PHOENIX AVONDALE, Ariz. (March 19, 2005) - Dan Wheldon, driver of the ...

WHELDON DRIVES KLEIN TOOLS/JIM BEAM CAR TO SIXTH-PLACE FINISH IN PHOENIX

AVONDALE, Ariz. (March 19, 2005) - Dan Wheldon, driver of the #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam machine, finished in sixth place at the XM Satellite Radio Indy 200 on Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway.

Wheldon led the opening lap of the race and gained a commanding lead over the next 70 laps. On lap 74, Wheldon had to make a green-flag pit stop, but was hit with a bit of bad luck when the caution flag flew on the following lap. Wheldon lost one lap and dropped to the 10th position.

Following a caution on lap 114, the Klein Tools/Jim Beam crew gained Wheldon two spots in the pits and he was running sixth. However, the stop came too far from the end of the race and the field had to make another green-flag pit stop. Wheldon came in on lap 185, received four tires and enough fuel to finish the race and hold on to the sixth-place finish.

Sam Hornish Jr. garnered his first win in over a year, followed by Helio Castroneves.  Tony Kanaan and
Dario Franchitti finished third and fourth, respectively.  Scott Sharp rounded out the top five.

Wheldon dropped one spot in the points championship chase and currently finds himself in second position, only six points from the leader, Hornish.

The third race of the 17-race IndyCar Series schedule is set for Sunday, April 3 in the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. The first road-course race in IndyCar Series history, the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, is set to go green at 3:30 p.m. (EDT) with live broadcast coverage provided by ESPN. It can also be heard live by XM Satellite Radio subscribers by tuning into Extreme XM, channel 152.

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

"The Klein Tools/Jim Beam car was pretty good today, but when you had to slow up for traffic the car tended to bite between turns one and two, which gave it a very loose sensation. When you're competing for a championship, you have to keep scoring points and I think we scored some good points today. It's certainly better to finish in the top 10 than not, so we'll just look forward to the Honda Grand Prix."

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

"The Klein Tools/Jim Beam car was good when we were running alone, but in traffic we had a loose car. What really hurt us was missing the yellow by one lap on our first stop. We tried to make some adjustments but it didn't come back, so the second half of the race was a totally different deal than the first half, unfortunately."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Scott Sharp , Helio Castroneves , Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , John Anderson , Jim Beam , Sam Hornish Jr.