Wheldon to start fifth for the 87th Indianapolis 500. INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 11, 2003) -- Rookie Dan Wheldon put the Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone in the middle of the second row during qualifying today for the Indianapolis 500.
Wheldon to start fifth for the 87th Indianapolis 500.
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 11, 2003) -- Rookie Dan Wheldon put the Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone in the middle of the second row during qualifying today for the Indianapolis 500. Wheldon averaged 229.958 miles per hour during his four-lap qualifying run.
In extremely windy conditions, Wheldon was the fourth car to make a qualifying attempt and held the top spot until Scott Dixon posted a better four lap average. When the final gun sounded at 6 p.m. local time, only four cars had bettered Wheldon's speed - - two of them being his Andretti Green Racing teammates Tony Kanaan and Robby Gordon.
Helio Castroneves won the "MBNA Pole Award" with an average speed of 231.725 miles per hour. Team 7-Eleven's Tony Kanaan will start second with an average speed of 231.006 miles per hour. His teammate Robby Gordon will start on the outside of the front row after posting a speed of 230.205 miles per hour.
A total of 24 cars are currently in the field with next Sunday's qualifying session remaining. Practice resumes at "The Brickyard" on Wednesday in preparation for the May 25th running of the Indy 500, which is slated to go green at 12 p.m. EDT and will air live on ABC Sports.
Dan Wheldon #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone
"I'm happy to be starting in the second row but I still think we had a little more. The Klein Tools/Jim Beam car ran extremely well, but I know we could have been faster. It's a bad thing to say, but I'm so used to being at the top that I want to stay there. There were a few things we could have done different, but the Andretti Green Racing team has done a great job."
Barry Green, Andretti Green Racing Consultant
"Dan ran four really good laps out there and I think he is just a little bit disappointed. We drew early and we didn't have a lot of knowledge of what the times were going to be today. I am so impressed by Dan, he ran flat all the way around. He has done everything we have asked this week and he is starting in the second row."