IRL: Pikes Peak: AGR/Wheldon race report

Tough day for Wheldon at Pikes Peak FOUNTAIN, Colo. (June 15, 2003) -- Rookie Dan Wheldon had a rough day at Pikes Peak International Raceway today, finishing 19th in the Honda Indy 225. After taking a gamble on the setup entering the event,...

Tough day for Wheldon at Pikes Peak

FOUNTAIN, Colo. (June 15, 2003) -- Rookie Dan Wheldon had a rough day at Pikes Peak International Raceway today, finishing 19th in the Honda Indy 225.

After taking a gamble on the setup entering the event, Wheldon battled handling problems on his Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone throughout the race. Wheldon's late race spin came as he was letting a group of lead-lap cars by when he was forced up into the marbles in Turn 4. Although he made no contact with anything during the incident, he was unable to continue.

Scott Dixon claimed his second victory of the year finishing ahead of Wheldon's teammate Tony Kanaan. Gil de Ferran finished third in the Honda Indy 225, ahead of Dario Franchitti. Franchitti returned to his race car for the first time in ten weeks.

The IRL IndyCar Series season moves to Richmond International Raceway on Saturday June 28 for Round 7 of the 2003 championship.

Dan Wheldon, #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam

"That was probably the hardest race I've ever driven in, to tell you the truth. The Klein Tools/Jim Beam guys stuck at it and we tried to bring it to the end but it just didn't seem to be our day today.

On his spin:

"I was just trying to get out of the way and a lot of people snuck under me and I got pushed up into the marbles. I spun, but I didn't hit anything."

Eddie Jones, race engineer, Klein Tools/Jim Beam

"We gambled on our race setup because of where we were starting. If the gamble didn't pay off, Dan was going to have a loose car and unfortunately that is what he had. Dan did really well to hang on. The spin at the end was really not his fault. He was pushed high by some cars underneath him. The car was a handful today and it is a credit to Dan for persevering."

-AGR-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Jim Beam