IRL: Chicagoland: AGR/Wheldon preview

Klein Tools/Jim Beam rookie driver Dan Wheldon ready for experienced run at Chicago INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (September 2, 2003) -- It's not very often that a rookie driver has more experience at a race track than his veteran teammates but that is ...

Klein Tools/Jim Beam rookie driver Dan Wheldon ready for experienced run at Chicago

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (September 2, 2003) -- It's not very often that a rookie driver has more experience at a race track than his veteran teammates but that is exactly the position Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon finds himself in this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway.

Wheldon made his Indy Racing League (IRL) IndyCarTM Series debut at Chicagoland last year, starting seventh and finishing 10th. In addition to that, the Klein Tools/Jim Beam team tested at the 1.5-mile oval with Wheldon running nearly 250 miles to build on his experience.

Along with his experience, Wheldon will also have momentum on his side as the Klein Tools/Jim Beam team is riding a wave of three consecutive top-ten finishes. Wheldon's two Andretti Green Racing teammates -- Tony Kanaan and Bryan Herta -- both tested at Chicagoland, but have yet to run a race there.

On his way to "Windy City", Wheldon will spend a day at the Klein Tools corporate headquarters and its largest manufacturing facility near Chicago. More than 300 of the 1,000 Klein Tools employees work at the facility in Skokie. Wheldon's visit to the Klein factory will allow him to see how many of Klein's products are made, including specially designed hand tools and wheel gun covers used by Andretti Green Racing and other IndyCar Series teams.

Qualifying for the Delphi Indy 300 will take place on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. (EDT). The race is set for Sunday at 2 p.m. (EDT) and will be broadcast live on ABC Sports.

Dan Wheldon, #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone

"I really enjoy Chicagoland Speedway. I've been around here before and that really is a nice feeling. In my rookie year I've been to a lot of tracks where I just had to head straight into the race weekend. Having experienced a race their, having experienced the track and testing there is all going to help me significantly because the Klein Tools/Jim Beam crew had a very productive test there."

Tony Cotman, Team Manager, Klein Tools/Jim Beam

"Dan (Wheldon) had a very good test at Chicago last week, so we should unload with a good setup. I think it's going to be difficult to pass, so we may spend more time working on our qualifying setup. The trend for the series and us seems to be if you qualify well, you get a good finish, so that is what we will work on."

- AGR -

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Kanaan , Bryan Herta , Dan Wheldon , Jim Beam