IRL: Nashville: AGR, Wheldon Friday report

Wheldon Pilots Klein Tools/Jim Beam Machine To 4th In Qualifying LEBANON, Tenn. (July 16, 2004) - Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon recorded a lap of 199.992 miles per hour today in Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series qualifying and...

Wheldon Pilots Klein Tools/Jim Beam Machine To 4th In Qualifying

LEBANON, Tenn. (July 16, 2004) - Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon recorded a lap of 199.992 miles per hour today in Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series qualifying and will start from the fourth position in tomorrow night's Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville Superspeedway.

Wheldon, who is a two-time winner in 2004 and currently ranks second in the IndyCar Series standings, will be one of five Honda-powered machines at the front of the starting grid on the 1.33-mile concrete oval.

For Wheldon, today's run was a return to his early-season form. The 26- year old Englishman won consecutive poles at Phoenix and at Twin Ring Motegi, and then qualified second for the 88th running of the Indianapolis 500. In those three events, Wheldon grabbed one win and three top-three finishes.

Buddy Rice claimed his fourth pole position of the 2004 season today with a lap of 201.231 miles per hour and will start alongside his teammate, Vitor Meira, who clocked in at 200.967. XM Satellite Radio driver Bryan Herta will roll of third after turning a lap of 200.955 miles per hour. Team 7-Eleven's Tony Kanaan qualified just behind Wheldon in the rundown with a lap of 199.804 miles per hour. ArcaEx driver Dario Franchitti slotted in seventh for tomorrow night's start, giving Andretti Green Racing four entries in the front four rows.

Tomorrow night's race goes green at 7 p.m. (Eastern) and airs live on ESPN.

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

"Our run in the Klein Tools/Jim Beam car was okay. There are some very quick cars here, but I'm happy with the speed that I did. It wasn't quite what I thought I'd do and I'm disappointed to not be on the pole. But, I know we've got a good race car, so I'm looking forward to getting on with it tomorrow night."

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

"We should be pretty happy with our qualifying spot. We can certainly win from there. We just need to get back on track after a couple of hiccups the past few races. We just need to focus on getting a good race car and see what tomorrow brings."

-AGR-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Dario Franchitti , Bryan Herta , Dan Wheldon , Buddy Rice , Jim Beam