IRL: Michigan: AGR, Wheldon Friday report

BROOKLYN, Mich. (July 30, 2004) - Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon recorded a lap of 213.550 miles per hour to register among the top five during practice today for Sunday's running of the Michigan Indy 400. Wheldon, who is a two-time...

BROOKLYN, Mich. (July 30, 2004) - Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon recorded a lap of 213.550 miles per hour to register among the top five during practice today for Sunday's running of the Michigan Indy 400.

Wheldon, who is a two-time Indy Racing League® (IRL) IndyCar® Series race winner this season, logged 52 laps around the two-mile, D-shaped Michigan oval during the two practice sessions held Friday and eventually settled in with the fifth- best speed among the field of 22.

The driver of the #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone is hoping to chip away at the 81-point gap that separates him from the top of the IndyCar Series point standings. Wheldon held the lead in the standings following two races earlier this season and currently ranks third behind Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan and Buddy Rice.

Herta's teammate, Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan, posted the quickest lap of the day at 214.797 miles per hour (33.5200 seconds) and was followed by Kosuke Matsuura, who turned a lap at 214.414 miles per hour. Tomas Scheckter was third quick on the day at 214.277 miles per hour and, followed by Buddy Rice (214.276) and Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon (213.550).

Practice for Sunday's 400-mile event resumes tomorrow morning and will be followed by qualifying at 11 a.m. (EDT).

Dan Wheldon, #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone:

"Today was a pretty good day for the Klein Tools/Jim Beam car. We were just working on the race stuff and trying to put the car into the various situations it's going to have to be in to win the race. From an outright speed standpoint, I think we still need to squeeze a little bit more out of it. But, we've still got some time to tune on it a little."

Eddie Jones, Race Engineer, #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone:

"We came here with a plan and managed to get through most everything today. We're really happy with the results right now. We feel like we have a very strong race car and that is what this race is all about. It's nice to qualify up front, but if you have a good race car you definitely have a shot to win."

-AGR-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Buddy Rice , Kosuke Matsuura , Jim Beam