English rookie Dan Wheldon completed only 48 laps in the No 26 Klein Tools / Jim Beam Dallara / Honda / Firestone before a mechanical problem forced him out of the Bombardier 500 at Texas Motor Speedway last night (Saturday). Wheldon ran in the...
English rookie Dan Wheldon completed only 48 laps in the No 26 Klein Tools / Jim Beam Dallara / Honda / Firestone before a mechanical problem forced him out of the Bombardier 500 at Texas Motor Speedway last night (Saturday).
Wheldon ran in the top 10 until the problem forced him to retire from the race early. He came into the pits on lap 46 and -- as he was leaving -- his throttle stuck open, forcing him to come back in on the re-start lap. Wheldon completed one lap under caution, riding the brakes the entire time. When the Klein Tools / Jim Beam crew inspected the car, they found a problem with the throttle as well as the brakes and were forced back to the garage.
Al Unser Jr claimed victory in the Bombardier 500 after a final lap duel with Wheldon's teammate, Tony Kanaan who came home in second and left Texas retaining the IRL IndyCar Series points lead. Tora Takagi finished third, Kenny Brack finished fourth and Wheldon's other team-mate, Bryan Herta (deputising for Dario Franchitti), came home fifth.
The IRL IndyCar Series season moves to Pikes Peak International Raceway next Sunday, 15 June, for Round 6 of the 2003 championship.
After last night's race, Dan Wheldon -- from Emberton in Buckinghamshire - said: 'I was shifting into second gear after I left the pits and the throttle stuck wide open and I had to ride the brakes to slow the car down on the yellow. The Klein Tools/Jim Beam crew did a good job for me today. I'm just sorry we couldn't have runmore. I think we were in a strong position today and we were just seeing how the race would unfold.'
Tony Cotman, Team Manager, Klein Tools/Jim Beam, commented: 'The race didn't go like we thought it would. There was a lot of single file racing out there and you really weren't able to make many passes. Dan was doing well and everythingwas just kind of 'follow the leader.' I don't think we had the car to win, but I know we would have been competitive.'