IRL: Pikes Peak: AGR, Wheldon race report

WHELDON CAPTURES THIRD IN KLEIN TOOLS/JIM BEAM MACHINE AT PIKES PEAK FOUNTAIN, Colo. (Aug. 22, 2004) - Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon gained valuable points in the Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series standings with a third-place...

WHELDON CAPTURES THIRD IN KLEIN TOOLS/JIM BEAM MACHINE AT PIKES PEAK

FOUNTAIN, Colo. (Aug. 22, 2004) - Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon gained valuable points in the Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series standings with a third-place finish Sunday at Pikes Peak International Raceway. Wheldon is now just 14 points from second place, and 82 points from the leader, teammate Tony Kanaan.

Wheldon, who has driven the #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone into the top-three eight times this season, started second and slowly lost ground on the leaders as the race progressed, and a little more than 50 laps into the race, Wheldon found himself in sixth place. He would battle over the next 100 laps attempting to get back into the lead pack, never falling lower than seventh.

Following a pit stop under caution, Wheldon moved his way into the fourth position. With less than 15 laps remaining in the 225-lap event, Wheldon passed Kanaan to move into third, where he would finish the day.

Wheldon's teammate, Dario Franchitti, picked up his second win of the season in the #27 ArcaEx Dallara/Honda/Firestone machine, and the seventh win in 12 events for Andretti Green Racing. Adrian Fernandez finished the race second with Darren Manning coming in fourth, and Kanaan rounding out the top-five finishers.

The Firestone Indy 225 at Nazareth Speedway - the 13th race of the 2004 IndyCar Series schedule - will go green Sunday, Aug 29 at 2:15 p.m. (EDT). ABC coverage of the 100th IndyCar Series event will begin at 2 p.m.

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

"It's always difficult at Pikes Peak. The #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam car was very good at the start, went off a bit and then came back at the end. If it wasn't for Honda, with the power we had, we would have been fifth or sixth. I finished in front of the two people I had to finish in front of (for the championship) and did the best I could."

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

"It was a pretty good team effort today. I'm really proud of the Klein Tools/Jim Beam team. It was a very difficult race track today. We didn't have a very good car at the start of the race. But, together we worked on it and tuned it a little. We should be very happy with third. We chiseled away a little bit on the points. Now we can look forward to Nazareth and try to continue our run of top-threes."

-agr-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Darren Manning , Adrian Fernandez , Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Jim Beam