Wheldon Guns for Kansas Three-Peat from Ninth Positionl; National Guard Driver Shoots for Pole Position, Settles For Top Ten Starting Spot

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (April 25, 2009) -- Two-time defending Kansas Speedway winner Dan Wheldon will set sights on an IndyCar Series record three-peat on Sunday afternoon from the ninth position. Wheldon, who has finished inside the top two for four consecutive seasons, will attempt to tie his own IndyCar record for consecutive wins at one track, and most career wins at one track. Wheldon (Homestead-Miami Speedway) and his former teammate Scott Dixon (Watkins Glen International Raceway) hold the current IndyCar Series records in those respective categories.

Wheldon was the pole-sitter here in 2006, his first season with Ganassi, when he finished runner-up. Last year the Briton was on the outside of the front row and had started fourth in 2007, the first season he won the Kansas event.

For Panther, Vitor Meira started 10th here last season before an incident in pit lane ended his run in 22nd position. Panther's best career start on the 1.5-mile oval came in 2002 when Sam Hornish Jr. started on the front row before a collecting a second-place finish, which was the second consecutive year Hornish was runner-up in the event.

The Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 will be held on Sunday, April 26th and broadcast live on Versus, the IMS Radio Network, www.indycar.com, and XM Sirius Channel 211.

Dan Wheldon, No. 4 National Guard Dallara Honda

"We were incredibly loose in qualifying, but that's because we really decided to attack and have a run for the pole. The National Guard Panther Racing car will be strong for the race, obviously there are opportunities to overtake here. We decided we were going to be aggressive, and it caught us out a bit, but that's part of it. It wasn't the wind really, it was just a shame that we were too loose. We haven't had much running yet, but we'll work on things in the morning warm-up tomorrow and make sure we're strong for the race. It's one of those things and it's certainly going to be an exciting race for fans of the IndyCar Series. I always seem to go well around here, so we're excited about our potential."

-credit: pr