Wheldon's Strong Run Ends After Early Kansas Crash KANSAS CITY, Kan. (July 6, 2003) -- Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon looked to be on the way to his best-ever Indy Racing League (IRL) IndyCar Series finish Sunday at Kansas Speedway when...
Wheldon's Strong Run Ends After Early Kansas Crash
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (July 6, 2003) -- Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon looked to be on the way to his best-ever Indy Racing League (IRL) IndyCar Series finish Sunday at Kansas Speedway when a hard crash ended his day on lap 56 and left him with a 21st place finish.
Wheldon started 13th in Sunday's Kansas Indy 300 field, but wasted no time pushing the #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone into the top 10. With just a quarter of the 200-lap race in the books, Wheldon was stalking his teammate Tony Kanaan for a spot in the top five when things changed for the worse. Wheldon and Felipe Giaffone made contact in turn two on the 56th circuit, forcing both cars into the outside retaining wall. Wheldon was uninjured in the incident, but his machine sustained heavy damage, thus ending his day.
Wheldon's Andretti Green Racing teammate Bryan Herta went on to win Sunday's race in what turned out to be a fuel mileage battle between the front- runners. Team Penske teammates Helio Castroneves and Gil de Ferran finished second and third, respectively, while Kanaan ended the day in fourth.
The IRL IndyCar Series resumes on July 19 at Nashville Superspeedway with the running of the Nashville Indy 200.
Dan Wheldon, #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
"Our Klein Tools/Jim Beam car was strong and I had just finished trying to go around my teammate Tony Kanaan and was just trying to tuck in behind him and start working on him again. I think Felipe tried to dive in at the last minute and I was committed to coming down. I was committed to getting back into line because it was like a train out there and he had obviously looked to the inside and we touched."
Tony Cotman, Team Manager, Klein Tools/Jim Beam:
"We had an awesome car and Dan was doing a hell of job. They are running very tight out there and we got to together with the #21 car. Dan should be very proud of how he was doing, he set the car up and he needs to take what he learned from here and apply to the rest of the races."