IRL: Richmond: AGR/Wheldon Kentucky test notes 2003-6-20

Wheldon, Kanaan wrap up busy testing week with quick laps at Kentucky SPARTA, Ky., (June 20, 2003) -- Andretti Green Racing drivers Dan Wheldon and Tony Kanaan wrapped up a busy week of testing Friday, running close to 400 miles at ...

Wheldon, Kanaan wrap up busy testing week with quick laps at Kentucky

SPARTA, Ky., (June 20, 2003) -- Andretti Green Racing drivers Dan Wheldon and Tony Kanaan wrapped up a busy week of testing Friday, running close to 400 miles at Kentucky Speedway as part of an Indy Racing League (IRL) Open Test.

Wheldon, who normally pilots the #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone, topped the speed chart while pounding out 117 laps in teammate Dario Franchitti's #27 Archipelago/Motorola Dallara/Honda/Firestone. Wheldon's quick lap registered at 221.638 miles per hour.

Kanaan, who has driven the #11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone to one win and five top-five finishes this year, charted 146 laps Friday on the way to turning the third fastest speed of the day, which clocked in at 220.238 miles per hour.

The two drivers also spent time earlier this week at Kansas Speedway, where they were part of a three-car team effort that included more than 750 miles of work.

"The test was good," said Wheldon. "We were working through our program to make sure we are good in race trim and qualifying trim. We are looking forward to coming here for the race. It is one of my favorite tracks. It is fast. It is bumpy, and you can run side-by-side.

"It is just exciting. The racing here is normally good. I haven't been in one, but looking from the outside, it is good."

Kanaan, who was visiting the track for the first time, felt the test provided a good education.

"This is a new track for us," said Kanaan. "We definitely are learning a lot. It is bumpier than we expected, but I think it is good so far. We are coming back here to test before the race. We are just taking this time to understand the track and see what we can do."

Scott Dixon, who held Kanaan off for a win last Sunday at Pikes Peak International Raceway, was second quickest at Kentucky with a speed of 220.553 miles per hour. A total of 16 drivers participated in the session.

Team manager Tony Cotman was happy with the test despite the way the day started.

"We started out way off," said Cotman. "We spent the morning trying to get close and then decided to make some big changes over the lunch break. The track is really bumpy -- certainly the bumpiest surface we've seen with these cars so far. Even though Dan was fast, he is still not entirely comfortable. Tony was a little more comfortable, so that will give us a good starting point for Dan when we come back for the race. But all in all, it was a pretty good day."

- AGR -

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Dan Wheldon , Jim Beam