IRL: Fontana: Dan Wheldon preview

Dan Wheldon on the California Indy 400: "I think Fontana is a race that everybody is gunning to win. I love the track, I really do. The thing to me that makes California so good is it's very, very fast. It's one of the fastest ...

Dan Wheldon on the California Indy 400:

"I think Fontana is a race that everybody is gunning to win. I love the track, I really do. The thing to me that makes California so good is it's very, very fast. It's one of the fastest racetracks that we go to. It's a track that rewards a very fast race car, but it's also got to be good handling."

Dan Wheldon Facts

Wheldon clinched the 2005 IndyCar Series championship at Watkins Glen on Sept. 25. He is the first driver in IndyCar Series history to win the Indianapolis 500 and the championship in the same season.

Wheldon's best finish at California was third in 2004. With an 11th-place finish or better at California, he will record the most points in a single season in IndyCar Series history.

Wheldon's win at Chicagoland gave him six wins in 2005, setting an IndyCar Series record for the most victories in a season.

Wheldon has nine career IndyCar Series wins, tying him with Scott Sharp for the second-most wins in history. Sharp has nine wins in 114 starts, Wheldon has nine victories in 48 career starts.

Wheldon's nine wins came over a 29-race stretch; the best streak in IndyCar Series history.

The Klein Tools/Jim Beam team has recorded a top-six finish in 21 of the last 23 races.

Wheldon's six wins of 2005 have come at: Homestead-Miami (March 6), St. Petersburg (April 3), Twin Ring Motegi (April 30), Indianapolis (May 29), Pikes Peak (Aug. 21), Chicagoland (Sept. 11).

Including 2005, the driver who has won the season-opening race has gone on to win the championship in four of the last five IndyCar Series seasons. The lone exception was Tony Kanaan (2004).

Wheldon has led 14 races in 2005, tied for the most races led in a season in IndyCar Series history.

Wheldon has led more laps (745) in 2005 than any other driver. He is sixth on the all-time list for laps led with 1,211, and is one of only 10 people to lead at least 1,000 laps in the IndyCar Series.

Wheldon ranks in the top 10 in several IndyCar Series career categories. Those include: wins (t-2nd), top-five finishes (5th), races led (t-5th), top-10 finishes (6th), laps led (6th), career earnings (8th).

John Anderson, Team Manager, #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone on the California Indy 400:

"I want to see another win on the board for the Klein Tools/Jim Beam team and I know Dan will be out there going for it. It's a high-profile race and a win would give us momentum heading into next season."

-agr-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Scott Sharp , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , John Anderson , Jim Beam