IPS: IRL: Indy Racing League notebook 2004-06-22

Indy Racing League News and Notes -- June 22, 2004 Today's IRL headlines 1. Wheldon Draws In Race With Fighter Jet 2. Medeiros Leads Testing at Nashville 3. Herta To Appear At XM Satellite Radio Event 1. Wheldon Draws In Race With Fighter Jet:...

Indy Racing League News and Notes -- June 22, 2004

Today's IRL headlines
1. Wheldon Draws In Race With Fighter Jet
2. Medeiros Leads Testing at Nashville
3. Herta To Appear At XM Satellite Radio Event

1. Wheldon Draws In Race With Fighter Jet: Let's call the race of the decade a draw.

The setting: A match race June 22 at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia.

The participants: IRL IndyCar Series driver Dan Wheldon in the Jim Beam Drink Smart two-seater vs. veteran fighter pilot Maj. Bret "Slam" Anderson's F-15 Eagle. Anderson has logged more than 1,900 hours in the F-15 and flew 65 combat missions over Iraq. Wheldon, driver of the No. 26 Klein Tools Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone, is second in the IndyCar Series standings to Andretti Green Racing teammate Tony Kanaan.

Background: An F-15 can reach speeds up to 205 mph before taking off. Wheldon's two-seater, in which he gives rides on tracks where the IndyCar Series races, is capable of reaching 100 mph in less than three seconds.

The result: Wheldon, on a taxiway 750 feet apart from the active runway of the F-15 Eagle, was ahead at the one-quarter-mile mark. Maj. Anderson caught up and then pulled back on the stick.

Foul. Even with its front and rear wings, the two-seater can't fly.

Even so, Wheldon said the experience was "awesome."

"The Jim Beam Drink Smart two-seater was in fine form today," said Wheldon, who will compete June 26 in the SunTrust Indy Challenge at Richmond International Raceway.

"It was really good fun and to come down to a photo finish is amazing. I was a little concerned racing against 'Slam.' It is OK to race against guys like Tony Kanaan, Bryan Herta or Dario Franchitti, but a guy named 'Slam' had me a little worried. I'll tell you this though; he can definitely pilot a plane. I'm proud I was able to come to Langley Air Force Base. Being with the people who keep America safe is incredible. It feels really good to give just a little back."

***

2. Medeiros Leads Testing at Nashville: Menards Infiniti Pro Series points leader Thiago Medeiros turned the quickest lap June 22 in a private test at the 1.33- mile Nashville Superspeedway.

Medeiros was clocked on a stopwatch at 26.1 seconds, four-tenths of a second faster than Mark Taylor's track record, which was set in 2003.

Five other drivers practiced at the track, which will host the Clean Event 100 on July 17. Paul Dana, Leonardo Maia, Brad Pollard, Al Unser and Tom Wood also took part in the session.

Unser, the son of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr., has never raced in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series. This was his third test with a Menards Infiniti Pro Series team this month. Wood completed his second test since suffering injuries at Kentucky Speedway last August.

The Menards Infiniti Pro Series season continues July 3 with the Aventis Racing for Kids 100 at Kansas Speedway.

***

3. Herta To Appear At XM Satellite Radio Event: Andretti Green Racing driver Bryan Herta will attend XM Satellite Radio's Employee/Media Day in Washington, D.C. on June 23.

Herta, who drives the No. 7 XM Satellite Radio Dallara/Honda/Firestone entry, will tour the XM Satellite Radio studios and sign autographs with team owner Michael Andretti at an employee ice cream social. Herta's race car and transporter will be on display.

The IRL Fan Experience's Indy Racing Challenge simulator and Pit Stop Challenge will also be on hand at the event.

***

The 2004 IRL IndyCar Series season continues with the SunTrust Indy Challenge at 7:30 p.m. (EDT) on June 26 at Richmond International Raceway. The race will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and the IMS Radio Network. The Menards Infiniti Pro Series Aventis Racing for Kids 100 will take place July 3 at Kansas Speedway. The race will be broadcast by ESPN2 on a tape-delayed basis on July 4.

-irl-

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About this article
Series IndyCar , Indy Lights
Drivers Mark Taylor , Al Unser Jr. , Michael Andretti , Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Bryan Herta , Dan Wheldon , Al Unser Sr. , Leonardo Maia , Tom Wood , Paul Dana , Brad Pollard , Jim Beam , Thiago Medeiros