Wheldon's strong run ends early in Kansas 25-year old Wheldon -- from Emberton in Buckinghamshire -- started 13th in Sunday's Kansas Indy 300 field, but wasted no time pushing the No 26 Klein Tools / Jim Beam Dallara / Honda / Firestone up ...
Wheldon's strong run ends early in Kansas
25-year old Wheldon -- from Emberton in Buckinghamshire -- started 13th in Sunday's Kansas Indy 300 field, but wasted no time pushing the No 26 Klein Tools / Jim Beam Dallara / Honda / Firestone up into the top 10. With just a quarter of the 200-lap race run, Wheldon was stalking his team-mate and championship leader Tony Kanaan for a spot in the top five when things changed for the worse. Wheldon and Brazilian Felipe Giaffone made contact in turn two on the56th circuit, forcing both cars into the outside retaining wall. Wheldon was uninjured in the incident, but hi! s car sustained heavy damage, thus ending his day.
Nevertheless, Dan Wheldon is still lying second in the 2003 Bombardier Rookie of the Year points, with eight races still to be run.
Wheldon's Andretti Green Racing team-mate Bryan Herta went on to win yesterday's race in what turned out to be afuel mileage battle between the frontrunners. Team Penske team-mates Helio Castroneves and Gil de Ferran finished second and third, respectively, while Kanaan ended the day in fourth.
The IRL IndyCar Series resumes on 19 July at Nashville Superspeedway with the running of the Nashville Indy 200.
After his early retirement, Dan Wheldon said: 'Our Klein Tools / Jim Beam carwas strong and I had just finished trying to go around my team-mate Tony Kan! aan and was just trying to tuck in behind him and start working on him again. I think Felipe (Giaffone) tried to dive in at the last minute and I was committed to coming down. I was committed to getting back into line because it was like a train out there and he had obviously looked to the inside and we touched.'
Tony Cotman, Team Manager, Klein Tools / Jim Beam,commented: 'We had an awesome car and Dan was doing a hell of job. They are running very tight out there and we got to together with the No 21 car (Felipe Giaffone). Dan should be very proud of how he was doing; he set the car up and he needs to take what he learned from here and apply it to the rest of the races.'