IRL: Wheldon - building momentum for Kansas

Wheldon ran as high as sixth at Richmond, before finishing eighth. As an IndyCar Series rookie (now placed second in the Bombardier Rookie of the Year points), Wheldon hasn't raced at many of the tracks he is running at this season. Kansas is an...

Wheldon ran as high as sixth at Richmond, before finishing eighth.

As an IndyCar Series rookie (now placed second in the Bombardier Rookie of the Year points), Wheldon hasn't raced at many of the tracks he is running at this season. Kansas is an exception -- the 25-year old raced in the 2001 CART Dayton Indy Lights event at the 1.5-mile oval. Wheldon finished the race fourth, but was awarded third after Townsend Bell was penalised two finishing positions.

"I think the Klein Tools / Jim Beam car is going to be strong at Kansas," said Wheldon. "It is good to be going to a track that I've been to before and actually raced on. Most of the tracks we go to I've never been to or I've only tested on them which is a lot different from racing conditions."

Wheldon, from Emberton in Buckinghamshire, also believes the similarities between an IndyCar Series car and a CART Dayton Indy Lights car will add to his comfort-level at the track.

"The Indy Lights car is similar to these cars, so I think it is going to be a good race. I was a part of the closest three-way finish in the series history and I hope we can have the Klein Tools / Jim Beam car up at the front in Kansas."

Wheldon recently completed two days of testing at Kansas Speedway in preparation for this weekend's event and team manager Tony Cotman says the time on the track was invaluable. "We learned a lot in our test at Kansas," said Cotman. "Dan was able to drive a lot of miles and, combining that with his experience in the Indy Lights race a couple of years ago, we should be in good shape. It is important for us to give him a good car from the start so we only have to tweak it a little during the weekend. Dan has learned a lot in these last couple of races and he is doing a great job for us."

Qualifying for the Kansas Indy 300 will take place on Saturday at 12 noon (EDT). The race is set for Sunday afternoon at 1pm (EDT) and will be broadcast live on ABC Sports.

-www.danwheldon.com-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jim Beam