Wheldon Places Klein Tools/Jim Beam Machine in Front Row After Rain Cancels Qualifying FOUNTAIN, Colo. (August 21, 2004) - Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon posted a best lap of 173.586 miles per hour in the afternoon practice session...
Wheldon Places Klein Tools/Jim Beam Machine in Front Row After Rain Cancels Qualifying
FOUNTAIN, Colo. (August 21, 2004) - Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon posted a best lap of 173.586 miles per hour in the afternoon practice session today to score the second position for tomorrow's running of the Honda Indy 225 at Pikes Peak International Raceway. An afternoon rain storm forced the cancellation of qualifying for the 225-lap event.
Wheldon's #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone team had a fast car all day, finishing with the fastest lap in the morning practice at 172.501 miles per hour as well. Andretti Green Racing teammate Tony Kanaan will start the #11 Team 7-Eleven car from the pole position with an afternoon lap of 174.331 miles per hour.
Wheldon has seven top-three finishes to his credit in the first 11 races this year, including a current string of two in a row. He heads into tomorrow's event sitting third in the IndyCar Series standings and is 87 points from the top spot, which is occupied by Kanaan. He trails second-place Buddy Rice by just 37 markers.
Kanaan won his second pole position of the 2004 season Saturday. Vitor Meira will start on the inside of the second row after posting a lap of 173.149 miles per hour. Dario Franchitti, who drives the #27 ArcaEx Dallara/Honda/Firestone, will start fourth with a lap of 172.916 miles per hour, followed by Helio Castroneves at 172.395 miles per hour and the XM Satellite car of Bryan Herta, who qualified sixth, with a best lap of 172.308 miles per hour.
Kanaan's run gave Andretti Green Racing its fifth pole of the 2004 season and eighth pole since joining the IRL in 2003. The team has won six of the 11 races run this season, including the two won by Wheldon at Twin Ring Motegi and Richmond International Raceway.
The Honda Indy 225 - Race 12 of the 2004 IndyCar Series season - is set to begin Sunday at 3:45 p.m. (EDT) with ABC Sports providing live coverage beginning at 3:30 p.m.
Dan Wheldon, #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
"I think the Klein Tools/Jim Beam car is good and I think we were certainly going to contend for the pole if we had qualified. We've got a little bit of work to do to perfect the car in race trim, but we've got a nice front row starting spot for tomorrow. We're just looking forward to a good race."
Tony Cotman, Team Manager, #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
"We can't complain about starting on the front row. It's certainly going to be a long race and it's going to take a good race car to stay at the front. Provided we stay out of trouble, I'm looking for a very good finish out of the Klein Tools/Jim Beam car."