IRL: Milwaukee: AGR, Wheldon Friday report

WEST ALLIS, Wis. (July 23, 2004) - After three straight two-day race events on the Indy Racing League (IRL) IndyCar® Series schedule, Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon is glad to be facing a three-day schedule at The Milwaukee Mile this ...

WEST ALLIS, Wis. (July 23, 2004) - After three straight two-day race events on the Indy Racing League (IRL) IndyCar® Series schedule, Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon is glad to be facing a three-day schedule at The Milwaukee Mile this weekend.

Wheldon, who sits second in the IndyCar Series point standings after eight of 16 events, began working toward Sunday's 225-mile event today with a pair of practice sessions, hoping to make up for the day that was lost to rain during the IRL Open Test at Milwaukee, June 16-17.

The driver of the #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone totaled 88 laps of practice Friday on the way to a best speed of 162.829 miles per hour (22.4407 seconds), which ranked him 12th on the overall practice chart. Wheldon, who already has two wins to his credit in 2004, will look to build on what he learned today when practice resumes Saturday morning.

Helio Castroneves topped the chart Friday with a speed of 166.150 miles per hour (21.9922 seconds) and was followed by Scott Dixon at 165.799 miles per hour (22.0388 seconds). Teammates Vitor Meira and Buddy Rice slotted in third and fourth with speeds of 165.270 miles per hour and 165.241 miles per hour, respectively. ArcaEx driver Dario Franchitti posted the fifth-best overall practice speed Friday, turning a lap of 165.015 miles per hour.

Qualifying for Sunday's running of the Menards A.J. Foyt Indy 225 is slated for 2 p.m. (Eastern) Saturday.

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

"We're just working on trying to get a good race car. It's difficult around this place and when you're with this team you expect a lot, so it's challenging. It's taking a little bit more time than I'd like, so sometimes it gets a little bit frustrating. The Klein Tools/Jim Beam car is quick in qualifying trim; I know that. I just haven't seen what many people can do in race trim. I think there were only about three of us that ran with full fuel today, so I'll be interested to see a bit more what happens tomorrow."

Tony Cotman, Team Manager, #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone:

"We're alright, but we're struggling a fair bit with the Klein Tools/Jim Beam car, to be honest. We've got a lot of work to do before qualifying and much more for the race. I'm glad we tested here; it was worthwhile. It gave us a good start, but we've still got a lot of work to do."

-AGR-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Scott Dixon , Dan Wheldon , Buddy Rice , A.J. Foyt , Jim Beam , Vitor Meira