IRL: Nazareth: AGR, Dan Wheldon preview

Dan Wheldon on the 2004 Firestone Indy 225: "In all honesty, I think it's going to be the most difficult track for me. I do enjoy the Nazareth track, but it's obviously very challenging. I'd certainly like to run well there this year and I do ...

Dan Wheldon on the 2004 Firestone Indy 225:

"In all honesty, I think it's going to be the most difficult track for me. I do enjoy the Nazareth track, but it's obviously very challenging. I'd certainly like to run well there this year and I do believe we can do that with the Klein Tools/Jim Beam car. The racing is different. There is very little overtaking, so I think it's about qualifying well, having a consistent race car and having very good pit strategy, which I have no doubt about with the guys in the pits doing the pit stops and Tony Cotman calling the race."

Dan Wheldon Facts
*Aided by his third-place finish at the Honda Indy 225, Wheldon has moved to within 14 points of second place in the IndyCar Series points championship chase behind Buddy Rice. Teammate and Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan leads the standings and is 82 points ahead of Wheldon.
*Wheldon scored his third-straight third-place finish last Sunday at Pikes Peak International Raceway.
*Through 12 races, he leads the series in top-three finishes with eight.
*The driver of the #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam machine has led 318 laps this season, which ranks third in the series, with the top-four machines all being Honda-powered.
*Wheldon has two career IndyCar Series wins, visiting the winner's circle at Twin Ring Motegi (April 17) and Richmond (June 26). He's started in the front row on four occasions and has two career IndyCar Series poles, earning them consecutively at Phoenix (March 20) and Twin Ring Motegi (April 16).
*Earlier this year, Wheldon tied a then-IndyCar Series record by scoring seven consecutive top-five finishes, a streak that included the final three events of 2003 and the first four races of 2004. Wheldon shared that record with Helio Castroneves and Sam Hornish. Kanaan now holds the record with a current streak of 11 consecutive top-fives.

Tony Cotman, Team Manager, #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone on the Firestone Indy 225:

"Heading to Nazareth, we're looking to build on our past three finishes. We have our sights set on Buddy Rice and that's Dan's goal. We've won with the #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam car on a short oval (Richmond) already this year and would like to continue Andretti Green Racing's success at Nazareth."

Andretti Green Racing Team Facts
*Andretti Green Racing entries have won seven of 12 IndyCar Series events this season.
*AGR has led 1,538 of 2,480 total laps run in 2004 (62.0 percent).
*Andretti Green drivers have led the IndyCar Series point standings for 11 consecutive events in 2004, dating to Phoenix (March 21).
*Andretti Green Racing drivers occupy the top three spots among IndyCar Series lap leaders [Kanaan - 813 (1st), Franchitti - 347 (2nd), Wheldon - 318 (3rd)].
*AGR entries have been present on the front row of the IndyCar Series grid at nine of 12 events this season.
*Andretti Green Racing has had at least one car in the top five in 18 consecutive IndyCar Series events dating back to Aug. 10, 2003, which stands as the longest active streak in the series.
*AGR has placed two cars in the top five of an event 17 times, including 10 of the past 11 events this season.
*Andretti Green Racing won all three night events on the 2004 IndyCar Series schedule (Tony Kanaan - Texas, Nashville; Dan Wheldon - Richmond).
*AGR has won every IndyCar Series event thus far in 2004 held at tracks shorter than 1.5 miles in length (Kanaan - Phoenix, Nashville; Wheldon - Richmond; Franchitti - Milwaukee, Pikes Peak).
*Andretti Green drivers occupy two of the top three spots in the IndyCarSeries point standings [Kanaan - 463 (1st), Wheldon - 381 (3rd)].
*Andretti Green won both the pole (Wheldon, March 20; Wheldon, April 16; Franchitti, June 10; Kanaan, August 21) and race (Kanaan, March 21; Wheldon, April 17; Kanaan, June 12; Franchitti, August 22) at Phoenix, Twin Ring Motegi, Texas and Pikes Peak.
*All four Andretti Green entries have finished in the top 10 on three occasions this season (Kansas, Kentucky and Pikes Peak). When they did so at the Kansas event, it marked the first time since Sept. 15, 1996 (Las Vegas) that an IRL IndyCar Series team has accomplished that feat.
*Andretti Green Racing has nine wins and eight poles since joining the IndyCar Series in 2003.
*AGR entries have combined for 48 top-five finishes in 28 career IndyCar Series races.

-AGR-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Buddy Rice , Jim Beam , Sam Hornis