IRL: Phoenix: Dan Wheldon race report

Klein Tools/Jim Beam Driver Dan Wheldon Finishes Third at Phoenix AVONDALE, Ariz. (March 21, 2004) - Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon made it three-in-a-row with a podium finish in the Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series with a ...

Klein Tools/Jim Beam Driver Dan Wheldon Finishes Third at Phoenix

AVONDALE, Ariz. (March 21, 2004) - Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon made it three-in-a-row with a podium finish in the Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series with a third-place finish in the Copper World Indy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway.

The 2003 IndyCar Series Rookie-of-the-Year led the field to the green flag after winning his first career IndyCar Series pole yesterday.  Wheldon's Andretti Green Racing (AGR) teammate Tony Kanaan started alongside him on the front row and took the point on the first lap.  Wheldon persevered through long green flag periods battling a loose race car and was able to stay in the top-ten all afternoon.  A couple of late race accidents allowed Wheldon to move up to the third position.

Kanaan went on to earn his second career IndyCar Series win and his second consecutive win at Phoenix.  Today's win is the third for AGR, including Bryan Herta's win at Kansas in 2003.  Scott Dixon finished second ahead of Wheldon.  Herta brought the XM Satellite Radio car home in seventh position and Dario Franchitti finished 17th after an accident on lap 181.

The IndyCar Series moves to the 1.5-mile Twin Ring Motegi in Motegi, Japan for round three of the 16-race IndyCar Series schedule.

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

"My Klein Tools/Jim Beam car was strong at the beginning of the runs, but it would get loose towards the end.  If we can keep having results like this when we're struggling a little bit, I'm looking forward to having a great car and getting my first win.  I'm happy with third, but it was a race where I just had to bring it home.  I'm more happy for Tony Kanaan, he was on a mission today. It was an excellent day for Andretti Green."

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

"We didn't have a very good car today so we were quite lucky to get our third podium finish.  The Klein Tools/Jim Beam crew had a good weekend especially with Dan earning his first pole.  Today wasn't stellar by any means but if you hang around sometimes things go your way.  I'd say we were a little bit lucky but we will reap the benefits."

-agr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Bryan Herta , Dan Wheldon , Jim Beam