IRL: Fontana: AGR/Wheldon Friday report

FONTANA, Calif. (September 19, 2003) -- Rookie Dan Wheldon set the sixth fastest speed in practice today at California Speedway. Wheldon lapped the two- mile oval in the ...

FONTANA, Calif. (September 19, 2003) -- Rookie Dan Wheldon set the sixth fastest speed in practice today at California Speedway. Wheldon lapped the two- mile oval in the #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone at 224.052 miles per hour.

Wheldon, who tested at California Speedway last week, concentrated of the car's handling in traffic and race-like conditions during today's practice sessions. The track is sensitive to the weather conditions and today's hot temperatures made the track very slippery compared to the test.

Wheldon's teammate Tony Kanaan was the fastest in today's practice turning a best lap of 224.833 miles per hour in the morning session. Honda powered Roger Yasukawa was second with a lap of 224.629 miles per hour. Scott Dixon rounded out the top-three after posting a lap of 224.405 miles per hour. Bryan Herta was unhurt in a single car accident in the morning session but the team was forced to go to a backup car. Herta's best lap of 223.408 miles per hour was good enough for ninth overall and came before the accident.

Qualifying for the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series 400-mile event at California Speedway is scheduled for 2 p.m. EDT tomorrow, while the 200-lap race -- which will air live on ABC Sports -- is set for 3:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday.

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

"We are happy with the car; we just want to make it better. It's going to be a long race on Sunday and we need to make sure our car is very good in traffic. You need to be confident in your car when you are out there mixing it up. The Klein Tools/Jim Beam car is very quick on its own and we should feature pretty strong in qualifying."

Tony Cotman, Klein Tools/Jim Beam Team Manager

"The Klein Tools/Jim Beam car is alright. I think we'll be good for qualifying but we still need to work on our race setup. We gained good ground this session but we definitely need another session to get our race setup just right."

-AGR-

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