IRL: Michigan: AGR/Wheldon preview

Wheldon hoping to ride momentum into Michigan INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 22, 2003) -- Coming off of his first career top- five finish in the Indy Racing League (IRL) IndyCartm Series, Dan Wheldon is looking to ride the momentum to another strong...

Wheldon hoping to ride momentum into Michigan

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 22, 2003) -- Coming off of his first career top- five finish in the Indy Racing League (IRL) IndyCartm Series, Dan Wheldon is looking to ride the momentum to another strong finish at the two-mile Michigan International Speedway.

The 25-year-old rookie brought the #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone home in fourth place under the lights at Nashville Superspeedway and the strong finish brought an added confidence to the team.

"I'm really looking forward to racing at Michigan," said Wheldon. "We've tested there this month and we learned a lot. When you combine that with the good finish this past weekend at Nashville, the Klein Tools/Jim Beam team is confident, we have good power with our Honda engine, and we're continuing to learn something new every race."

Wheldon tested at MIS on July 27 and used the opportunity to turn more than 100 miles.

"When we test, we really want to work on our race setup," said Wheldon. "It is important to have a car that is consistent throughout a fuel stint. You can make minor changes during the race, but you really just want to fine-tune the car. The competition is really tight and there isn't time on pit lane to make major changes."

Team manager Tony Cotman knows that the race at Michigan will be a long one and that Wheldon will need to have a good car to be competitive.

"This is the second longest race of the year," said Cotman. "We are running four hundred miles and it is important for Dan to have a car that he is comfortable with. Dan has shown speed all year and if he can stay focused for the long run we will have another shot at a podium finish."

Qualifying for the Firestone Indy 400 will take place on Saturday at 11 a.m. (EDT). The race is set for Sunday 3 p.m. (EDT) and will be broadcast live on ABC.

- AGR -

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Dan Wheldon , Jim Beam