IRL: Texas II: AGR, Dan Wheldon preview

Dan Wheldon on the 2004 Texas Indy 500k: "Texas has always been a difficult place for the Klein Tools/Jim Beam team as far as luck goes, but I think we're going to be very fast this weekend. We'd like to find a little more speed so we can lead...

Dan Wheldon on the 2004 Texas Indy 500k:

"Texas has always been a difficult place for the Klein Tools/Jim Beam team as far as luck goes, but I think we're going to be very fast this weekend. We'd like to find a little more speed so we can lead and put a stop to (Adrian) Fernandez's domination of late. I'm sure we're going to be very competitive. I hope everybody stays within themselves and doesn't get too crazy just because it's the last race. But, it's always a good market to be in. Texas has great fans, it's always a unique atmosphere and I'm looking forward to being there."

Dan Wheldon Facts

With his third-place finish at the California Indy 400, Wheldon recorded a top-four result for the sixth- straight time. That is the longest streak of top fours for any driver during the 2004 season.

Through 15 races, Wheldon is tied with teammate Tony Kanaan for the IndyCar Series lead in top- three finishes with 10. The next-closest driver has five top-three results.

Wheldon remained second in the IndyCar Series points championship with his podium finish in California. He gained five points on third-place driver Buddy Rice and now leads Rice by 25 points (498-473). Kanaan clinched the points championship in California.

With a finish in the top five at Texas, Wheldon is guaranteed second place in the points championship regardless of how Rice fares.

Wheldon recorded his third career IndyCar Series win with a victory at the Firestone Indy 225 at Nazareth Speedway (Aug. 29). He has also been victorious at Twin Ring Motegi (April 17) and Richmond (June 26).

Wheldon has started in the front row on four occasions this year and has two career IndyCar Series poles, earning them consecutively at Phoenix (March 20) and Twin Ring Motegi (April 16).

The driver of the #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam machine has led 419 laps this season, good for second-most laps led behind Kanaan. Honda-powered machines occupy seven of the top 10 positions in laps led.

Tony Cotman, Team Manager, #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone on the 2004 Texas Indy 500k:

"The Klein Tools/Jim Beam team is going to approach Texas like any other race. If we're fast enough to win, then so be it. Obviously we need to stay out of trouble and keep doing what we've been doing. I'm disappointed that the last race is here already. The season went by really quick and it would be an exceptional performance if AGR could finish 1-2 in the championship, so that's our number one goal."

IndyCar Series Records Set by Andretti Green Racing in 2004

AGR entries have won a record eight of 15 IndyCar Series events this season.

Andretti Green entries swept the top three positions at Nazareth on Aug. 29 (Wheldon - 1st, Kanaan - 2nd, Dario Franchitti - 3rd); the first time in IndyCar Series history that one team has claimed all three podium positions.

Andretti Green Racing has had at least one car in the top five in 21 consecutive IndyCar Series events dating back to Aug. 10, 2003, which stands as an IndyCar Series record. Kanaan has led 884 laps, an IndyCar Series single-season mark.

The 578 points amassed by Kanaan in 2004 is the highest single-season total ever recorded by an IndyCar Series driver, breaking the old mark of 531, set by Sam Hornish Jr. in 2002 (15 races). Kanaan has recorded an IndyCar Series record 14 consecutive top-five finishes, which sets two new marks - one for most consecutive top fives and one for most top fives in a season.

Andretti Green Racing Team Facts

Kanaan's second-place finish at California clinched the IndyCar Series championship for AGR. AGR has led 1,717 of 3,105 total laps run in 2004 (55.3 percent).

Andretti Green drivers have led the IndyCar Series point standings for 14 consecutive events in 2004, dating to Phoenix (March 21).

Andretti Green Racing drivers occupy three of the top four spots among IndyCar Series lap leaders [Kanaan - 859 (1st), Wheldon - 419 (2nd), Franchitti - 347 (4th)].

AGR entries have been present on the front row of the IndyCar Series grid at 10 of 15 events this season.

AGR has placed two cars in the top five of an event 20 times, including 13 of the past 14 events this season.

Andretti Green Racing won all three night events on the 2004 IndyCar Series schedule (Kanaan - Texas, Nashville; Wheldon - Richmond).

AGR has won every IndyCar Series event in 2004 held at tracks shorter than 1.5 miles in length (Kanaan - Phoenix, Nashville; Wheldon - Richmond, Nazareth; Franchitti - Milwaukee, Pikes Peak).

Andretti Green drivers occupy the top two spots in the IndyCar Series point standings and three of the top six positions [Kanaan - 578 (1st), Wheldon - 498 (2nd), Franchitti - 394 (6th)].

Andretti Green won both the pole (Wheldon, March 20; Wheldon, April 16; Franchitti, June 10; Kanaan, Aug. 21) and race (Kanaan, March 21; Wheldon, April 17; Kanaan, June 12; Franchitti, Aug. 22) at Phoenix, Twin Ring Motegi, Texas and Pikes Peak.

All four Andretti Green entries have finished in the top 10 on four occasions this season (Kansas, Kentucky, Pikes Peak and Nazareth). When they did so at the Kansas event, it marked the first time since Sept. 15, 1996 (Las Vegas) that an IndyCar Series team accomplished that feat.

Andretti Green Racing has 10 wins and eight poles since joining the IndyCar Series in 2003. AGR entries have combined for 56 top-five finishes in 31 career IndyCar Series races.

-AGR-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Buddy Rice , Jim Beam , Sam Hornish Jr.