IRL: Michigan: Dan Wheldon race report

WHELDON SCORES SECOND-PLACE FINISH AT MICHIGAN IN KLEIN TOOLS/JIM BEAM CAR BROOKLYN, Mich. (July 31, 2005) - Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon narrowly missed his fifth win of the season while driving to a second-place finish at Sunday's...

WHELDON SCORES SECOND-PLACE FINISH AT MICHIGAN IN KLEIN TOOLS/JIM BEAM CAR

BROOKLYN, Mich. (July 31, 2005) - Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon narrowly missed his fifth win of the season while driving to a second-place finish at Sunday's running of the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series Firestone Indy 400 at Michigan International Speedway. With the finish, Wheldon increased his lead in the IndyCar Series championship chase to 78 points over Sam Hornish Jr.

Wheldon showed early how strong the Klein Tools/Jim Beam car was by gaining eight positions in the first 10 laps of the race and running in the top five, where he would stay for the remainder of the event. Throughout the race, Wheldon's toughest competition came from within the AGR stable and by lap 60 the AGR team was running 1-2-3-4.

On a restart with less than 70 laps remaining, Wheldon got a jump on the field and grabbed the lead, but AGR teammate and eventual race winner Bryan Herta pursued Wheldon and took back the top spot seven laps later. Following his final pit stop, Wheldon began to challenge for the lead again, moving up the leader board from fifth place. However, in the 11th-closest finish in IndyCar Series history, Herta nosed out Wheldon by .0374 of a second.

Trailing Herta and Wheldon across the line were Tomas Scheckter, Tony Kanaan and Hornish.

After taking a weekend off, the IndyCar Series schedule resumes Sunday, August 14, from Kentucky Speedway. ABC will provide live coverage of the AMBER Alert Portal Indy 300 beginning at 3:30 p.m. (EDT).

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

"It was a very, very good team effort by the Klein Tools/Jim Beam crew and by the AGR team as a whole. It was very close; that's the way racing should be, no doubt about it. My car wasn't the greatest today. I seemed to lack overall speed and that's something we have to work on."

John Anderson, Team Manager, #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone:

"Bryan Herta was the class of the field right from the start of the race. He deserved every bloody lap he led and he deserved that win, for sure. We just didn't have enough for him, but what a hell of a battle between Tony and Bryan and Dan. It was a hell of a race. The Klein Tools/Jim Beam team went after that win, but I know Dan also had the championship in his mind and this was the next best thing - especially with those XM guys getting the win. It's just great."

-agr-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Bryan Herta , Dan Wheldon , John Anderson , Jim Beam , Sam Hornish Jr.