IRL: St. Louis: AGR/Wheldon Saturday report

Wheldon to start 12th in St. Louis Madison, Ill. (August 9, 2003) -- Rookie Dan Wheldon posted the 12th fastest time in qualifying today, securing himself the outside starting position in the sixth row for the Emerson Indy 250 at Gateway ...

Wheldon to start 12th in St. Louis

Madison, Ill. (August 9, 2003) -- Rookie Dan Wheldon posted the 12th fastest time in qualifying today, securing himself the outside starting position in the sixth row for the Emerson Indy 250 at Gateway International Raceway. Wheldon lapped the 1.25-mile oval at 172.010 miles per hour.

The Klein Tools/Jim Beam crew worked in race conditions during practice this morning and then ran a few simulated qualifying runs in the second practice session early this afternoon. Wheldon continued to work on a new driving technique for the short ovals and continued to lower his lap times.

Helio Castroneves won the MBNA Pole Award with a speed at 175.965 miles per hour. His speed just eclipsed that of Kenny Brack, who posted a lap at 175.777 miles per hour. It is Castroneves' first pole of 2003 and Brack's first front-row start of the year. Wheldon's teammate Tony Kanaan will start third in the Team 7-Eleven machine. Kanaan turned in a best lap of 175.674 miles per hour. Bryan Herta will start sixth tomorrow after posting a best lap of 174.662 miles per hour.

The 200-lap Emerson Indy 250 will air live on ABC Sports at 3 p.m. EDT tomorrow.

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

"The crew has done a great job all day today. I think where we're lacking is in my experience level compared to the other drivers out there. I am working on a new driving technique and it's just taking a little bit of time adapting to it. It has been a strong weekend for the Klein Tools/Jim Beam car and I think we are going to improve a lot."

Tony Cotman, Klein Tools/Jim Beam team manager

"Dan did the best he could out there, but the qualifying session was a little disappointing. We worked on our race car in practice today and just did a few qualifying simulations. I think we have a good race car and this week we should get a top-five finish."

-AGR-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Tony Kanaan , Bryan Herta , Kenny Brack , Dan Wheldon , Jim Beam