SPARTA, Ky. (Aug. 14, 2004) - Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon recorded a lap of 214.275 miles per hour (24.8653 seconds) in qualifying today to secure the 11th starting position for tomorrow's running of the Belterra Casino Indy 300 at ...
SPARTA, Ky. (Aug. 14, 2004) - Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon recorded a lap of 214.275 miles per hour (24.8653 seconds) in qualifying today to secure the 11th starting position for tomorrow's running of the Belterra Casino Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway.
Wheldon, who has driven the #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone to a pair of victories in 2004, missed a top-five starting position by just over one-tenth of a second during a very competitive qualifying session on the 1.5-mile Kentucky tri-oval.
The 2003 Indy Racing League IndyCar® Series Rookie of the Year enters Sunday's 200-lap event ranked third in the series point standings and is hoping to close the gap on the top-two drivers - Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan and Buddy Rice. Wheldon trails Kanaan by 89 points and Rice by 32 with six races remaining.
Rice will start from the pole on Sunday after posting a lap of 216.016 miles per hour and will start alongside Kanaan, who was clocked at 215.731 miles per hour. Sam Hornish Jr. qualified third (215.592 miles per hour), Adrian Fernandez qualified fourth (215.326) and ArcaEx driver Dario Franchitti was fifth (215.181).
The Belterra Casino Indy 300 - Round 11 of the 16 race schedule - is set to go green at 3:45 p.m. (EDT) tomorrow and will air live on ABC.
Dan Wheldon, #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
"I'm certainly not satisfied with that run. It just wasn't what we wanted. For some reason, we have struggled to get a lot of speed out of the car in qualifying trim on these superspeedways, so that has us a bit frustrated. I think we have a good race car and it's a long race around here tomorrow, so we'll have to do what it takes to get the Klein Tools/Jim Beam car up there where we need it to be."
Eddie Jones, Race Engineer, #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
"The Klein Tools/Jim Beam team is a bit disappointed, but qualifying up front here is not as crucial as having a good race car. We did some good work with that this morning and perhaps gave up a little bit in qualifying because of it. But, we're not too concerned about that. We're planning on having a good race car tomorrow."