IRL: Texas II: Dan Wheldon Friday report

Dan Wheldon is optimistic about his prospects in the Chevy 500 at Texas Motor Speedway at Fort Worth, Texas -- the final round of this year's Indy Racing League series -- tomorrow. In yesterday's first practice session on the 1.5-mile banked...

Dan Wheldon is optimistic about his prospects in the Chevy 500 at Texas Motor Speedway at Fort Worth, Texas -- the final round of this year's Indy Racing League series -- tomorrow.

In yesterday's first practice session on the 1.5-mile banked Texas oval circuit, the 24-year old Briton set a fastest time of 24.0040 seconds -- a speed of 218.214 mph -- and 17th out of the 28 drivers entered.

Later in the day, in the second practice session, Dan Wheldon was already up to a speed of 217.624 mph when he crashed in Turn 4, but was unhurt. The left front of Dan's No 15 Pennzoil Panther Dallara Chevrolet Firestone was damaged, forcing repairs before today's final practice session and all-important qualifying session.

After the incident, Dan Wheldon said: 'The track is very good. We were just working on getting the car good for the race -- and everything was going according to plan -- when we had a little mishap. I think we'll be in good shape. I'm sure Panther, Pennzoil and Chevrolet will put together a program for us where we will be able to run up front in the race.'

Dan Wheldon is the first English driver to compete in the Indy Racing League and his performance in his debut race last Sunday -- when he finished less than a second behind the winner -- has been widely acclaimed.

Dan Wheldon moved to the USA in 1999 after a highly successful early career in karts -- often beating Jenson Button and Anthony Davidson -- and the junior single-seater formulae. In 1999 he won the US F2000 title. He then finished runner-up in the standings in CART Toyota Atlantic in 2000 and the CART Dayton Indy Lights series last year. He was named Rookie of the Year in all three series.

-dwr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jenson Button , Anthony Davidson , Dan Wheldon