Wheldon Starts Strong, Seeking Motegi Repeat Already a two-time winner in 2005, Andretti Green Racing's Dan Wheldon has returned to the scene of his first career Indy Racing League win, seeking to expand his points lead in the IRL IndyCar ...
Wheldon Starts Strong, Seeking Motegi Repeat
Already a two-time winner in 2005, Andretti Green Racing's Dan Wheldon has returned to the scene of his first career Indy Racing League win, seeking to expand his points lead in the IRL IndyCar Series championship with another victory at Honda-owned Twin Ring Motegi in Japan.
Wheldon led the Honda field in opening practice Friday at the 1.5-mile speedway, running second quickest on the day to Penske Racing's Helio Castroneves. Dario Franchitti, Tony Kanaan and Rahal Letterman Racing's Vitor Meira made it four Hondas in the top five on the day, based on times posted in a pair of practice sessions to start the race weekend.
Buddy Rice led another pack of Honda drivers in positions seven through 12, followed by rookie Rahal Letterman teammate Danica Patrick, local favorite Kosuke Matsuura, Scott Sharp, Bryan Herta and recent 12 Hours of Sebring winner Jeff Bucknum, making his IndyCar debut for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing.
Practice continues Friday morning, with single-car qualifying starting at 12:30 p.m. local time. The green flag for Saturday's 300-mile race flies at 1 p.m. local time, with television coverage on ESPN starting at 12 p.m. EDT Saturday.
Dan Wheldon (#26 Jim Beam/Klein Tools Andretti Green Racing Honda) second fastest today : "We still have a bit of work to do on the race car to make it better, but it was good to get out and get an idea of what the car felt like full of fuel. We lost a lot of time this morning with a problem in the rear suspension, but things turned around for us in the afternoon. We did a simulated qualifying run, and that's were I set my best time. I do have to thank two of my teammates, though [Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan]. They gave me a bit of a 'tow' on that lap."