INDY RACING LEAGUE NEWS AND NOTES -- Sept. 20, 2005 Today's IRL headlines 1. Wheldon set to join elite company 2. Patrick takes bite of Big Apple 1. Wheldon set to join elite company: Dan Wheldon will join elite company by securing his first...
INDY RACING LEAGUE NEWS AND NOTES -- Sept. 20, 2005
Today's IRL headlines
1. Wheldon set to join elite company
2. Patrick takes bite of Big Apple
1. Wheldon set to join elite company: Dan Wheldon will join elite company by securing his first IndyCar Series championship when he starts the Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix presented by Argent Mortgage on Sept. 25.
The 27-year-old Englishman will become the 25th driver to win both the Indianapolis 500 and a series championship in the same year -- a feat accomplished only four times since 1980.
"To have won the Indy 500 and the championship is very special," said Wheldon, the first IndyCar Series driver to accomplish the feat. "The IndyCar Series is a tough series, and I think there's a ton of talented drivers here. To achieve that is a good team effort. Obviously I've had very good cars this year and very fast cars. We've been able to win a lot of races, which is rare in the IndyCar Series nowadays.
"My goal coming into this season was to win the Indy 500. When I achieved that, I had to adjust my mindset, and the goals I had for myself. Obviously, winning the championship was the next goal."
Wheldon is the first Englishman to accomplish the feat, though the late Jim Clark won the Indianapolis 500 and Formula One championship in 1965. Clark, though, did not score any Formula One points by winning at Indianapolis.
Among the drivers who have accomplished the feat are four-time Indianapolis 500 winners A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears and three-time Indianapolis 500 winners Johnny Rutherford, Bobby Unser, Louis Meyer and Wilbur Shaw. The last driver to accomplish the feat was Jacques Villeneuve in 1995.
"To join the list of names that have won championships and the Indy 500 in the same season is pretty special," Wheldon said. "Those are all people I respect immensely. To be listed in the same category as them is a nice feeling."
Here is a list of drivers who have won both the Indianapolis 500 and series championship in the same season. Only champions of the series that sanctioned the event are recognized. <pre> Year Driver Series 1916 Dario Resta AAA 1919 Howdy Wilcox AAA 1921 Tommy Milton AAA 1922 Jimmy Murphy AAA 1925 Peter DePaolo AAA 1928 Louis Meyer AAA 1930 Billy Arnold AAA 1933 Louis Meyer AAA 1934 Bill Cummings AAA 1935 Kelly Petillo AAA 1937 Wilbur Shaw AAA 1938 Floyd Roberts AAA 1939 Wilbur Shaw AAA 1955 Bob Sweikert AAA 1959 Rodger Ward USAC 1961 A.J. Foyt Jr. USAC 1962 Rodger Ward USAC 1964 A.J. Foyt Jr. USAC 1967 A.J. Foyt Jr. USAC 1968 Bobby Unser USAC 1969 Mario Andretti USAC 1970 Al Unser USAC 1979 Rick Mears CART 1980 Johnny Rutherford CART 1986 Bobby Rahal CART 1989 Emerson Fittipaldi CART 1994 Al Unser Jr. CART 1995 Jacques Villeneuve CART 2005 Dan Wheldon IRL IndyCar Series </pre> ***
2. Patrick takes bite of Big Apple: IndyCar Series rookie Danica Patrick will make several media appearances Sept. 20-21 in advance of the Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix presented by Argent Mortgage.
Patrick, who leads the Bombardier Rookie of the Year point standings, will appear on the "Late Show with David Letterman" on Sept. 20, then make morning show appearances on NBC's "Today," and ESPN2's "Cold Pizza" on Sept. 21.
Patrick, who will be the featured guest at an IRL media luncheon at ESPN Zone in Times Square, also is scheduled to appear on ESPN2's "Quite Frankly With Stephen A. Smith" on Sept. 21.
The 10th season of IndyCar Series competition continues with the Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix Presented by Argent Mortgage at 3:30 p.m. (EDT) on Sept. 25 at Watkins Glen International. The race will be broadcast by ABC and the IMS Radio Network. The race broadcast also will be carried on XM Satellite Radio channel 152 (XM Extreme). The next Menards Infiniti Pro Series race is the Corning 100 on Sept. 25 at Watkins Glen International. It will be telecast by ESPN2 at 3 p.m. on Sept. 29.