RICHMOND, Va. (June 28, 2003) -- Rookie Dan Wheldon logged his second-best finish of the season in the ...
RICHMOND, Va. (June 28, 2003) -- Rookie Dan Wheldon logged his second-best finish of the season in the #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway, coming home eighth in the Suntrust Indy Challenge.
Wheldon started 13th, but a fast pit stop on lap 61 by the Klein Tools/Jim Beam crew moved him up to ninth. He then worked his way up to sixth by lap 78 and ran there for nearly 100 laps. Wheldon ran solidly among the top 10 the rest of the way, eventually settling in eighth when the race was halted by rain after 206 of the scheduled 250 laps.
Tonight's run also marked Wheldon's second top-10 result of the season. His best Indy Racing League (IRL) IndyCar^Ù Series finish came in Japan where he finished seventh.
Scott Dixon won his second consecutive IRL IndyCar Series race, leading every lap of the event. Team Penske teammates Helio Castroneves and Gil de Ferran finished second and third respectively. Wheldon's teammate and IndyCar Series points leader Tony Kanaan came home in fifth preserving his points lead for another week. Bryan Herta, who is substituting for Dario Franchitti for the rest of the season, finished 14th.
The IRL IndyCar Series moves to Kansas Speedway next Sunday, July 6, for Round 8 of the 2003 championship.
Dan Wheldon, #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam
"The Klein Tools/Jim Beam crew did a great job on pit stops and that was important because track position was so critical tonight. It was really difficult to pass out there and when Sam (Hornish) got by me I lost some time and (Kenny) Brack was able to get by me as well. The Klein Tools/Jim Beam car was good and the crew did a good job and that made it a good day. I don't think the result reflects how well we did today and it was good to get a finish, none the less."
Tony Cotman, Team Manager, Klein Tools/Jim Beam
"Dan did a really good job today. We had two really awesome pit stops and it wasn't easy out there. He did the best he could with the car he had and he did a great job because this is a tough little track."