Wheldon Drives Klein Tools/Jim Beam Car to Third-Place Finish; Clinches 2nd in Points Championship FORTH WORTH, Texas (Oct. 17, 2004) - Dan Wheldon finished second in the Indy Racing LeagueÂ® IndyCarÂ® Series points championship by driving the ...
Wheldon Drives Klein Tools/Jim Beam Car to Third-Place Finish; Clinches 2nd in Points Championship
FORTH WORTH, Texas (Oct. 17, 2004) - Dan Wheldon finished second in the Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series points championship by driving the #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam entry to a third- place result Sunday at the Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Wheldon, who started the race in the seventh position, worked his way through the field slowly. The 2003 IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year found himself as high as third place and never below fifth before a yellow flag came out with less than 40 laps remaining. The Klein Tools/Jim Beam crew got Wheldon out of the pits in first place, ahead of Helio Castroneves and teammate Tony Kanaan. With less than 20 laps remaining, Castroneves passed Wheldon and held off Kanaan and Wheldon following a restart on lap 198 to net his first win of 2004.
With the third-place finish, Wheldon clinched second place in the IndyCar Series point standings, trailing only Kannan, and bringing Andretti Green Racing a 1-2 finish in the points championship.
The Texas 500 was the final event of the 2004 IndyCar Series season. The 2005 IndyCar Series season begins March 6, 2005, at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla.
Dan Wheldon, #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
"We just lacked speed on the day and I'm not exactly sure why. The Klein Tools/Jim Beam guys have worked hard all season and they deserve to finish second in the championship and I'm just ashamed the race didn't work out the way we wanted. It was a really good season nonetheless. Helio went way before the restart cone and we'll see what Brian (Barnhart) does."
Tony Cotman, Team Manager, #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
"It is another third-place finish for the Klein Tools/Jim Beam crew, to add to our list of thirds this year. It is just an exceptional day for the entire team and the #26 team guys had a great team effort. It is an exceptional year for Andretti Green Racing to finish 1-2 in the championship and it will be very hard to top that next year. Congratulations to the whole team, they definitely deserve it."