IRL: Richmond: Kentucky test notes 2003-06-20

Rookie Wheldon tops 221 at Kentucky open test SPARTA, Ky., Friday, June 20, 2003 -- Rookie Dan Wheldon posted the fastest speed of the day June 20 at the Indy Racing League IndyCara Series Open Test at Kentucky Speedway. Wheldon, driving ...

Rookie Wheldon tops 221 at Kentucky open test

SPARTA, Ky., Friday, June 20, 2003 -- Rookie Dan Wheldon posted the fastest speed of the day June 20 at the Indy Racing League IndyCara Series Open Test at Kentucky Speedway.

Wheldon, driving teammate Dario Franchitti's No. 27 Archipelago/Motorola Dallara/Honda/Firestone, turned a lap of 24.0392 seconds, 221.638 mph. "Obviously I'm in Dario's car because of Dario's unfortunate circumstances," Wheldon said. "We wish him well."

Franchitti will miss the remainder of the 2003 season due to upcoming back surgery, Andretti Green Racing officials announced June 19. The replacement driver has not been announced.

Wheldon completed 117 laps around the 1.5-mile oval, turning the top speed late in the afternoon session on his 113th lap of the day. "We are looking forward to coming here for the race," Wheldon said. "It is one of my favorite tracks. It is fast, it is bumpy and you can run side by side. It is just exciting. The racing here is normally good. I haven't been in one, but looking from the outside it is good."

The IndyCar Series returns to Kentucky Speedway on Sunday, Aug. 17 for the fourth annual Belterra Casino Indy 300 Scott Dixon, the only repeat winner in 2003, was second fastest of the day, turning a lap of 24.1575, 220.553 in his No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone.

"We've had a busy week of testing, and it ended on a good note today," Dixon said. "We ran a lot of miles and didn't have any problems. The car has been fast at all of the tracks that we've gone to this year, and that gives me a lot of confidence."

IndyCar Series points leader Tony Kanaan, Wheldon's teammate, was third in his No. 11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone at 24.1920, 220.238. Tomas Scheckter, Dixon's teammate, was fourth at 24.1977, 220.186 in his No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone. Indianapolis 500 champion Gil de Ferran rounded out the top five in his No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone at 24.2527, 219.687. Fifteen drivers completed 1,968 accident free laps in party cloudy conditions with temperatures ranging from 60 to 75 degrees.

The Belterra Casino Indy 300 on Aug. 17 will be the 12th of 16 events on the 2003 IndyCar Series schedule. The 200-lap, 300-mile race will be broadcast live at 2 p.m. (EDT) on ABC Sports and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network. Tickets are available by calling (888) 652-RACE or logging onto www.kentuckyspeedway.com.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Gil de Ferran , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Chip Ganassi
Teams Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing