IRL: Motegi: Dan Wheldon preview

Who: ...

Who: #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone driver Dan Wheldon
What: Bridgestone Indy Japan 300, Round 3 of the Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series
Where: Twin Ring Motegi, Motegi, Japan
When: Saturday, April 17
Television: ESPN2 (Live), Friday, April 16 at 11:30 p.m. (EDT)

Dan Wheldon on the Bridgestone Indy Japan 300

"I'm really looking forward to the race in Motegi. The Klein Tools/Jim Beam car is running well right now and this team has built some momentum in the first two races. It is Honda's home track so if I can get their first win there I'm sure they will give me a lifetime contract which would be a good thing. Last year I went to Japan not expecting to run and then Dario had his accident in Scotland and I was pressed into action. This year I will be a little more relaxed. It isn't my first race with the team so now I'm much more comfortable and I have a year's experience under my belt so I'll be able to give good feedback to Eddie (Jones, race engineer) and Tony (Cotman, team manager)."

Dan Wheldon Facts

* Motegi marks Wheldon's 19th IndyCar Series start

* This will be Wheldon's second race at Twin Ring Motegi; the 25-year-old made his

* AGR debut at Motegi in a substitute role for the injured Dario Franchitti and finished seventh

* Wheldon earned his first career IndyCar Series pole in the last event at Phoenix

* Wheldon has seven career IndyCar Series top-five finishes

* Wheldon's earned his third consecutive third-place finish at Phoenix

* With the third-place finish at Phoenix, Wheldon eclipsed the $1 million dollar mark in

* IndyCar Series career earnings

* Wheldon has 11 IndyCar Series top-10 finishes, including eight in a row dating back to last year

* Wheldon claimed 2003 IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year honors despite starting only 14 of 16 races

Tony Cotman, Team Manager, on the Bridgestone Indy Japan 300

"It has been a good start to the season for the Klein Tools/Jim Beam team and we're looking to build on that. Motegi is an important race for us and Honda, and we are looking to win over there. I know a lot of people want to win in Japan but I don't think they want it as bad as Honda does right now and we are going to put our best effort in to try and achieve that goal. Dan just needs to keep doing what he is doing and one of these days a win will come. Hopefully, if it's not in Japan, it will be at the next race."


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Dario Franchitti , Dan Wheldon , Jim Beam