IRL: Texas: Dan Wheldon qualifying report

Klein Tools/Jim Beam Driver Dan Wheldon 12th in Texas Qualifying Ft. Worth , Texas (June 10, 2004)- Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon earned the 12th starting position Thursday night for the Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series ...

Klein Tools/Jim Beam Driver Dan Wheldon 12th in Texas Qualifying

Ft. Worth , Texas (June 10, 2004)- Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon earned the 12th starting position Thursday night for the Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series Bombardier 500k at Texas Motor Speedway. The 25-year-old Brit lapped the 1.5- mile high-banked oval at 207.197 miles per hour.

Wheldon, the 2003 IndyCar Series Rookie-of-the-Year, started on the front row in each of the three previous races this season including winning two consecutive pole positions at Phoenix and Motegi. In the season-opener, Wheldon started 14th at Homestead and worked his way through the field to finish third.

Wheldon enters Saturday's race as the IndyCar Series points leader, as well as the driver who has led the most laps this season. Wheldon is also in the midst of a top-five finish streak with an IndyCar Series record seven in a row.

Wheldon's Andretti Green Racing teammate, ArcaEx driver Dario Franchitti, earned his first IndyCar Series pole position with a lap at 209.609 miles per hour. Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan qualified third with a lap at 208.511 miles per hour. Franchitti led a Honda parade of top-five qualifiers which also includes Indy 500 winner Buddy Rice (second), Kosuke Matsuura (fourth) and XM Satellite Radio driver Bryan Herta (fifth).

The Bombardier 500k, Round 5 of the IndyCar Series schedule, will start Saturday at 8:00 p.m. (EDT). The 200-lap event will air live on ESPN.

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

"The Klein Tools/Jim Beam car is faster than we showed tonight. We couldn't quite pull the gear that we wanted to try and pull out there. That's just the way it goes. If you look at our team the other three cars are up there and Dario got his first pole. I have to say 'good job' to him; that is something he has really earned. Now I have to just try and join them up front as early in the race as I can."

Tony Kanaan, Team Manager, #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone

"It's disappointing;I think starting position is pretty crucial here.  You need to start in
the first couple of rows to make it easier for you.  But, this Klein Tools /Jim Beam team can
win from there.  We'll just adjust our strategy accordingly and get Dan up to the front."

-AGR-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Bryan Herta , Dan Wheldon , Buddy Rice , Kosuke Matsuura , Jim Beam