Klein Tools/Jim Beam Driver Dan Wheldon Finishes Ninth at Kansas Kansas City, Kansas (July 4, 2004)Â -Â Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon scrambled to aÂ ninth-place finish in today's Indy Racing LeagueÂ® IndyCarÂ® Series...
Klein Tools/Jim Beam Driver Dan Wheldon Finishes Ninth at Kansas
Kansas City, Kansas (July 4, 2004) - Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon scrambled to a ninth-place finish in today's Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series Argent Mortgage Kansas Indy 300 at Kansas Speedway after a miscue on the first pit stop moved him to the back of the field.
Wheldon came to pit lane on lap 54 under green flag conditions and the service was proceeding normally until a miscommunication saw the car leave the pit box with the fueling probe still attached. The force pulled the pit lane fuel tank onto the pit wall, but none of the methanol was spilled. Wheldon continued in the race, but lost eight positions as a result of the problem. The Klein Tools/Jim Beam crew then did their best to repair the fuel tank and were able to use it for the remaining two pit stops.
Wheldon steadily worked his way through the field during the final 140 laps and gained back four of those spots as the race ran under green for the majority of the afternoon. By working hard to finish the race, Wheldon maintained his position of second in the IndyCar Series points standings. Wheldon trails teammate Tony Kanaan by 28 points.
Buddy Rice earned his second win of the year with the second closest finish in IndyCar Series history. Rice literally edged out his teammate Vitor Meira by .0051 of a second. Herta's teammate, Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan, was third and ArcaEx driver Dario Franchitti was fourth.
The IndyCar Series now moves to Nashville Superspeedway on July 17 for the Firestone Indy 200. The season's final night race will begin at 7 p.m. (EDT) and will air live on ESPN.
Dan Wheldon, Driver, #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone
"It was difficult today. I got sent from my pit when the fuel hose was still connected. Mistakes happen and unfortunately it cost us a lot today. The best news is all of my guys are okay. We just need to move on to the next race. In a championship as tight as this it is never good to lose any ground, but the Klein Tools/Jim Beam crew fought back and got us a top-10 finish."
Tony Cotman, Team Manager, #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone
"Our first stop was a disaster. But you know you're going to have miscues and even though this was a big one, the Klein Tools/Jim Beam boys did a great job at recovering and focusing to do the remaining stops. It wasn't a good weekend for us, but we finished. We weren't going to win the championship here, but we could've done a lot to lose it if we had given up after the mistake."