IRL: Indy 500: AGR's Wheldon day three practice report

Wheldon sets fastest lap of the month at Indianapolis INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 6, 2003) -- Rookie Dan Wheldon set the fastest lap of the month today in the Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone with a top speed of 231.108 miles per hour...

Wheldon sets fastest lap of the month at Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 6, 2003) -- Rookie Dan Wheldon set the fastest lap of the month today in the Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone with a top speed of 231.108 miles per hour (38.9429 seconds). Wheldon was helped on his quick lap by his teammate and car owner Michael Andretti who towed him around the 2.5-mile oval in the draft.

Wheldon ran 43 laps today, looking for the ideal qualifying setup for the car and was able to run some fast laps. The team worked throughout the day gathering data in the cool morning and late afternoon and also during the heat of the mid afternoon. Wheldon led a trio of Andretti Green Racing drivers in the top-10 as Andretti was fifth fastest (230.416 mph) and Tony Kanaan was eighth quick (229.984 mph).

Gil de Ferran was second quick at 230.873 miles per hour (38.9909 seconds) and Tomas Scheckter was third fastest, posting a best lap of 230.823 miles per hour (39.3999 seconds). Wheldon's teammate Robby Gordon continued working on race setup and was 23rd fastest today with a lap at 226.607 miles per hour (39.7163 seconds ).

Practice will continue tomorrow at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the teams prepare for "Pole Day" qualifying on Saturday, May 10. The Indianapolis 500 will take the green flag at 12 p.m. EDT and will be aired live on ABC Sports.

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

"Being the fastest today is great but I don't think it is a reflection of how qualifying is going to be. It is good for the Klein Tools/Jim Beam team to be up there because it really lifts everyone's spirits. We are still working on our set program as are our other three cars and we gather the data at the end of the day and fine tune our program for the following day. The Andretti Green Racing team is keeping me on an even keel and even though we are setting some fast speeds we are still focused on the job at hand and we are looking forward to a good day tomorrow."

Tino Belli , Klein Tools/Jim Beam race engineer

"We continued our work today towards a good qualifying setup. Dan is doing a great job for us and he is really giving us excellent feedback. It is important to have a driver who understands the car and can then explain what it is doing to the engineers. Dan is one of the best at that. We were fast today but we were in the draft so there is still some work left to do."

-AGR-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Robby Gordon , Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Jim Beam