FORT WORTH, Texas (June 11, 2005) - Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon looked strong at the start and conclusion of the Bombardier Learjet 500, but suffered a setback during a pit stop in the middle of the race that sent the 2005 Indianapolis...
FORT WORTH, Texas (June 11, 2005) - Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon looked strong at the start and conclusion of the Bombardier Learjet 500, but suffered a setback during a pit stop in the middle of the race that sent the 2005 Indianapolis 500 winner home with a sixth-place finish.
Wheldon, who started eighth, took little time getting to the front. Only four laps into the race, he had passed four cars and was running in third place. Wheldon continued to battle among the top-three cars, eventually taking the lead with 85 laps to go. However, Wheldon lost ground to the leaders when he pitted under green-flag conditions on lap 117 and fell back in traffic.
For the next 50 laps, Wheldon fought to stay in contention before his final pit stop under green on lap 173. Returning to the track in 12th place following the stop, he slowly climbed four spots over the next 20 laps. Over the final five laps of the race, Wheldon continued to gain ground and finished sixth.
Off to the best start in IndyCar Series history, Wheldon has four wins and two sixth-place results on the season. He also has a 65-point lead on teammate Tony Kanaan in the championship chase.
Tomas Scheckter won his first race of the year, followed by Sam Hornish Jr. and Kanaan. Scott Sharp and Helio Castroneves rounded out the top five.
The IndyCar Series resumes Saturday, June 25, at Richmond International Raceway where Wheldon is the defending champion. ESPN2 will provide live coverage of the event at 7:30 p.m. (EDT).
Dan Wheldon, #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
"To be quite honest, I just don't think the Klein Tools/Jim Beam car was very quick this evening. I lost quite a bit of time on pit stops and we need to look into why that was happening. Then, when I lost the draft, I couldn't do the time that (Tomas) Scheckter and (Sam) Hornish were doing."
Eddie Jones, Race Engineer, #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
"On our second-to-last pit stop, for whatever reason, we dropped from the lead pack and there was too big of a gap from the group we ended up with and couldn't get back to them. Once that's happened and it's green running right to the end, there's no way back. We have to be pleased with the points and we're still very strong in the championship, so it's on to the next race."