IRL: Texas: Andretti Green Racing preview

Dan Wheldon on the Bombardier Learjet 500: "I'd love to win at Texas. To make it five out of six for the Klein Tools/Jim Beam team would be fantastic. One thing that is very difficult about Texas is that it is hard to predict. You run...

Dan Wheldon on the Bombardier Learjet 500:

"I'd love to win at Texas. To make it five out of six for the Klein Tools/Jim Beam team would be fantastic. One thing that is very difficult about Texas is that it is hard to predict. You run at over 220 miles per hour, you are inches apart and are back and forth with one another. Normally the person that wins takes it by an inch or two. It is the first race after Indy, it's a night race; it is going to be a good one for the fans."

Dan Wheldon Facts

Adding to his record-breaking 2005 season, Wheldon won the 89th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 29. He is the 64th different driver to win the event.

Wheldon is off to the best start in IndyCar Series history. He is the only driver to win four of the first five races in a season and only the second driver to win four races over a five-race span.

Wheldon has seven wins in the last 19 IndyCar Series events, by far the best stretch in history. The next closest stretch was by Sam Hornish Jr. who won seven races in a 27-event stretch.

Wheldon currently has seven career IndyCar Series victories; the fourth-most career wins in history.

Wheldon leads the IndyCar Series championship standings by 72 points over teammate Tony Kanaan.

Wheldon has won the last three IndyCar Series races. He won AGR's first Indianapolis 500, he recorded his second-consecutive victory at Twin Ring Motegi in Motegi, Japan, and led a "1-2-3-4" sweep for AGR at the inaugural Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Wheldon's first win of 2005 came at Homestead-Miami Speedway where he led 158 of 200 laps.

Wheldon has led 301 laps in 2005. He is currently 10th on the all-time list for laps led.

Eddie Jones, Race Engineer, #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone on the Bombardier Learjet 500:

"We're a very professional team and we're in a very competitive series, so we know that the moment we start to think we are going to have everything go our way is the time we become uncompetitive. Indy is behind us now. It was a terrific victory, but we've shifted our focus to Texas and the races beyond. Our next challenge is to win the championship and that's what we're focused on now."

Tony Kanaan on the Bombardier Learjet 500:

"It's always special to race at Texas Motor Speedway for several reasons: 7-Eleven is headquartered in Dallas, the stands are always packed with fans and the track is made for our kind of racing. Plus, Team 7- Eleven has had good luck at Texas in the past. Hopefully we'll be able to enjoy a Big Gulp in victory lane on Saturday night."

Tony Kanaan Facts

The Bombardier Learjet 500 marks Kanaan's 39th career IndyCar Series start.

Kanaan has three top-three finishes in 2005 and has had a top-10 finish in all five events this season.

His best effort is a second-place finish at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (April 3).

Kanaan qualified on the pole position for the 89th running of the Indianapolis 500.

The defending IndyCar Series champion drove from a 21st starting position to a third-place finish at the XM® Satellite Radio Indy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway (March 19).

Kanaan has led 68 laps during the 2005 IndyCar Series season, including 54 at the Indianapolis 500.

Kanaan enters the Bombardier Learjet 500 second on the IndyCar Series driver points chart with 162 points, trailing only Klein Tools/Jim Beam teammate Dan Wheldon.

Kanaan registered a string of 18-consecutive top-five finishes, a mark which set an IndyCar Series record for consecutive top-five finishes, dating from the second race of the 2004 season through the third event of the 2005 campaign.

Kanaan has four career IndyCar Series wins (Phoenix 2003, 2004, Texas 2004, Nashville 2004) and six IndyCar Series poles (Homestead 2003, Phoenix 2003, Pikes Peak 2003 and 2004, Michigan 2004, Indianapolis 2005).

Eric Cowdin, Race Engineer, #11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone, on the Bombardier Learjet 500:

"Texas is an important race for us because it's the home race for 7-Eleven and you always want to perform well in your sponsor's hometown. Team 7-Eleven had good success at Texas last year and continuing on the strength that we've shown this season, I would expect to do well again."

Dario Franchitti on the Bombardier Learjet 500:

"I earned my first IndyCar Series pole position at Texas last year and that definitely stands out when I think about Texas Motor Speedway. The racing is really 'pack' racing; two-wide and many rows deep and the difference between being at the front of the group and mired in the middle is very slight. The ArcaEx team has been performing well since Phoenix, so we'll be looking to be at the front of the pack and see what happens when the checkered flag falls."

Dario Franchitti Facts

The Bombardier Learjet 500 will mark Franchitti's 26th career IndyCar Series start.

Franchitti finished sixth at the 89th running of the Indianapolis 500 after starting in the sixth position.

Franchitti has led 135 laps this season to rank second among 2005 lap leaders, including leading 52 laps at Phoenix on March 19, 67 laps at Motegi on April 30 and 15 laps at Indianapolis on May 29.

The Scotsman recorded his first IndyCar Series MBNA Pole Award last year at Texas on June 10.

Entering the Texas event, Franchitti is tied for seventh in the driver point standings with 123 points, 13 points shy of fifth place.

Franchitti recorded two victories in 2004, both coming on 1-mile ovals at Milwaukee on July 25 and at Pikes Peak on Aug. 22.

Franchitti has 12 major open-wheel racing victories and 12 career pole positions.

Allen McDonald, Race Engineer, #27 ArcaEx Dallara/Honda/Firestone, on the Bombardier Learjet 500:

"We have been strong at each of the last four races. Unfortunately, we haven't found our way into victory lane yet. We had good performances at Texas last year, sitting on pole and finishing second in the June race, so we're definitely looking for more of that success."

Bryan Herta on the Bombardier Learjet 500:

"The exciting thing about Texas is how close everybody runs together. The XM Satellite Radio team has to focus on winning races and finishing as high as we can. This early in the season, it's difficult to think about the points championship, especially with the big lead that Dan (Wheldon) has. We've just got to go to Texas and try to win the race."

Bryan Herta Facts

Herta recorded a third-place finish at the 2005 Indianapolis 500. The finish was Herta's best at Indy.

Herta is fourth in the IndyCar Series points championship. He is seven points out of third place, 23 points from second place and 95 points from the leader, Klein Tools/Jim Beam teammate Dan Wheldon.

Herta has scored three-straight top-five finishes. He had a fifth-place result at Twin Ring Motegi and a fourth-place finish in St. Petersburg where he was part of a "1-2-3-4" sweep for Andretti Green Racing.

In 2005, Herta has recorded the first two IndyCar Series pole positions of his career. He took his first pole in Phoenix at the XM Satellite Radio Indy 200 and the second in St. Petersburg.

Herta is only the 10th driver in IndyCar Series history to record consecutive poles, joining teammates Tony Kanaan and Dan Wheldon.

Herta drove the XM Satellite Radio car to a ninth-place finish in the 2004 points championship.

Herta has three career major open-wheel racing wins and nine poles.

Herta has one IndyCar Series victory, which came at Kansas Speedway in 2003.

George Klotz, Team Manager, #7 XM Satellite Radio Dallara/Honda/Firestone on the Bombardier Learjet 500:

"The XM Satellite Radio crew just has to keep doing what we're doing. It seems to be working and things are going great for Bryan and the team right now. Obviously, we wanted to win at Indy, but we'll take a third place there any day. We keep getting stronger in the points and we're going to keep working for a win."

-agr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Bryan Herta , Dan Wheldon , Jim Beam , Sam Hornish Jr.